Second interdisciplinary Conference on Culture held in Birmingham


The student-led Culture Conference was held at the University of Birmingham on 9 and 10 June, following the success of last year’s conference, which received very positive feedback and raised further questions for debate.

Organised by doctoral researchers Elisa Bandini and Eva Reindl, and Birmingham Fellow Dr Claudio Tennie, the conference this time focused on a special type of culture: 'When and How does Cumulative Culture emerge?'

The two-day conference provided an interdisciplinary forum for approximately 70 researchers from within and outside Europe to discuss ideas, theories, and data on the origin of Cumulative Culture. A special focus was given to extended discussion sessions to encourage exchange across disciplines.

Keynote speakers covered diverse areas such as biology, anthropology, psychology, archaeology, and philosophy and included:  Professor Carel van Schaik (University of Zürich), Dr Rachel Kendal (University of Durham), Professor Emer Peter Richerson (University of California), Dr Olivier Morin (Max-Planck-Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena) and Professor Alex Mesoudi (University of Exeter). The poster sessions presented cutting-edge research from early career researchers across disciplines.

Funding from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences for a student-led conference as well as generous financial support from the School of Psychology allowed the organisers to make registration free, encouraging many students outside of Birmingham to attend.