The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall
188 Suffolk St.
646-422-7898 Price: $15
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What are societies? What keeps them together and tears them apart?
A New Yorker can fly to Los Angeles–or Borneo–with little fear. But, If a chimpanzee ventures into the territory of a different group, it will almost certainly be killed.
Psychologists have done little to explain this: For years, they have held that our biology puts a hard upper limit of about 150 people on the size of our social groups. But human societies are, in fact, vastly larger.
How do we manage—by and large—to get along with each other?
In this talk, Dr. Mark W. Moffett will discuss how sprawling, highly complex societies have been created and what it takes to sustain them. He will examine the social adaptations that bind the members to their societies and explores how the tension between identity and anonymity defines how those groups work—and sometimes don’t.
About the Speaker
Dr. Mark W. Moffett, also known as “Doctor Bugs,” “the Indiana Jones of Entomology,” “The Martha Stewart of dirt,” and “the Jane Goodall of ants” is a Photographer and a Biologist. He’s known for combining serious science with quirky adventure stories and photography.
Moffett has a doctorate from Harvard under the poet of conservation, E.O. Wilson. He has received the Explorers Club’s Lowell Thomas Medal, the Distinguished Explorer Award from the Roy Chapman Andrews Society, the Poynter Journalism Fellowship from Yale, Harvard’s Bowdoin Prize for writing, and five of his images appear in National Geographic’s 100 Best Wildlife Pictures. After earning his B.A. at Beloit College in Wisconsin, Moffett taught himself macrophotography to document his 1989 Harvard Ph.D. on marauder ants under Professor E.O. Wilson. His first published images were of these ants in National Geographic magazine.