Getting to know Robin Dunbar

Emeritus Professor Robin Dunbar of the University of Oxford speaks about his early life in Australia and East Africa, his early interests in philosophy and the humanities, and his accidental pathway to making a world famous scientific discovery and becoming a professor of evolutionary psychology.

In this conversation we explore some of the common themes of the Wide Open Air Exchange such as early influences and early interests, vocational pathways and vocational choices.

Listen using the audio player above or podcast via iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify (or search for “Wide Open Air Exchange” on your preferred podcast platform).

It was in 1992 that Professor Dunbar discovered a correlation between brain size and group size in primates and a related limit to the number of meaningful relationships a human can maintain, which has become known as “Dunbar’s Number”. 

In the thirty years since, this finding has been built on with further discoveries about friendships and social bonding and you can learn about the latest understandings in Robin Dunbar’s recent books:

Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships

How Religion Evolved: And Why It Endures

Professor Dunbar will be our guest again in September 2022 for a seminar style discussion of these books, answering your questions.

Linked here is information about how to submit a question for the seminar.

Photo credit: Andre Camara

Image supplied by Robin Dunbar for use by the Wide Open Air Exchange.

A 30 minute radio edit of this conversation is currently available at the 2SER 107.3FM show page where you can also see a photo of Robin Dunbar as a child in Kalgoorlie, Australia.

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