December 12, 2018, New York University, New York, NY, USA
Erika Milam, Princeton University
After World War II, the question of how to define a universal human nature took on new urgency. This talk charts the rise and precipitous fall in Cold War America of a theory that attributed man’s evolutionary success to his unique capacity for murder. Scientists who advanced this “killer ape” theory capitalized on an expanding postwar market in intellectual paperbacks and widespread faith in the power of science to solve humanity’s problems, even to answer the most fundamental questions of human identity. The killer ape theory spread quickly from colloquial science publications to late-night television, classrooms, political debates, and Hollywood films. Behind the scenes, scientists were sharply divided, their disagreements centering squarely on questions of race and gender.
Click here for more information.
Posted: December 06, 2018