Fall of Civilizations Podcast | 29 June 2019 | 1h 43m | Listen Later | iTunes
Works through the evidence that rats, slavers and disease were the downfall of Easter Island – not, as popularised by Jared Diamond, thoughtless deforestation to erect moai (stone monuments), with consequent civil war.
Talking Books | 12 September 2017 | 0h 52m | Listen Later
Interview with James Suzman about his book Affluence Without Abundance: What We Can Learn from the World’s Most Successful Civilisation. Applies an anthropologist’s perspective both to the Bushmen of the Kalahari, and the lessons for modern civilisation.
Origin Stories | 8 April 2020 | 0h 34m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with anthropologist Steve Lansing about his work mapping the genetic and language diversity of the Indonesian archipelago. Includes his work from 2018 with the Cave Punan, the last surviving hunter-gathers living in Borneo, with a unique song language thought to predate the arrival of modern humans in Indonesia.
KERA’s Think | 12 February 2019 | 0h 48m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with anthropologist Richard Wrangham about the ideas in The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution. Draws on evolutionary evidence to suggest that as we domesticated ourselves, we reduced our tendency to reactive violence, whilst simultaneously retaining our capacity for organised violence.
History Extra | 18 December 2017 | 0h 46m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with political scientist James C Scott about his book Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. Explores the evidence for the forces and processes involved in early agriculture and state-building. Includes some delicious asides about the necessity of grains to raising taxes.
Conversations with Tyler | 14 December 2016 | 1h 25m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with anthropologist Joseph Henrich, author of The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter. Argues that intelligence is overrated and that social learning, and its ability to influence biological evolution over time, is what really sets our species apart. Discusses his work on cultural evolution, his life among different tribes (academic and otherwise), China’s missing industrial revolution, and the Flynn effect.