Conversations with Tyler: A Conversation with Joseph Henrich

Tyler Cowen explores the world of ideas in one-on-one dialogues with today’s top thinkers.

Nov 07, 2016
Founders Hall Auditorium, George Mason University, Arlington Campus
 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201

Event Speakers

Tyler Cowen

Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University

Joseph Henrich

Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University and the Canada Research Chair in Culture, Cognition and Coevolution at the University of British Columbia

Event Video

Joseph Henrich, an expert on the evolution of human cooperation and culture, joined Tyler Cowen for a wide-ranging dialogue as part of the Mercatus Center’s Conversations with Tyler event series. 

Henrich’s research has challenged the typical narrative about human evolution to show how our collective brains – our ability to socially interconnect and learn from one another – is the driving factor behind our evolutionary success. Henrich presents these compelling arguments in his latest book, The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter (2015).

Co-author of Why Humans Cooperate: A Cultural and Evolutionary Explanation (2007), Henrich’s research seeks to discover the role of culture in shaping our evolution; how evolutionary theory can help us understand how we learn and transmit culture; the role of war and conflict in the evolution of cooperation and sociality; what factors drive innovation and cultural evolution; and ultimately what has allowed humankind to flourish over other species. 

Henrich earned his MA and PhD in anthropology from University of California at Los Angeles. He currently teaches at Harvard University as a professor of human evolutionary biology. Additionally, he holds the Canada Research Chair in Culture, Cognition, and Coevolution at the University of British Columbia where he is also a professor in the psychology and economics departments and co-director of the Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture Centre.