The Evolution of Aging, the Great Transition, and the Increasing Risk of Chronic Disease

Archaeology and Zoology are delighted to host Stephen Stearns, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University.

This free lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

Register here.

Professor Stearns is the author of seminal works such as The Evolution of Life Histories and Evolutionary Medicine.

This talk first reviews the ideas and evidence on why we age. It then describes the Great Transition - changes in mortality, fertility, nutrition, and public health that have occurred roughly simultaneously as countries undergo economic development, passing through the Industrial Revolution into the modern world. These changes have implications for ongoing human evolution but, more immediately, they have implications for the risks of chronic diseases and the growing evidence that is exposing their evolutionary origin. It concludes with the message that we might be able to engineer our genes to try to live longer, but there will be costs, which are currently unknown.

Convened by Gabriella Kountourides, Professor Tim Cousins and Dr Alex Alvergne