May 18, 2015
12:00pm to 1:30pm

Haines Hall 352


Jacob Foster

UCLA, Department of Sociology


 “The Unknown Known: Science, Social Learning, and Cultural Evolution”


“Science is an incredibly successful instance of social learning. Its practices produce and subtly organize the attention, effort, and creativity of millions of scientists, leading to rapid and cumulative cultural evolution. In this talk, I outline the striking convergence between this view of science and the one developed in science studies. Using data from millions of scientific papers, I illustrate how scientists use social cues to select research problems and how these heuristics lead to more (and less) efficient discovery. I then argue that formal theories of learning and cultural evolution shine new light on old puzzles in the sociology of science--while the study of science provides provocative problems, parallels, and paradigms for theories of cultural evolution.”



12:00-1:30 PM Monday May 18th, 2015

Haines Hall 352

Lunch will be served on a first come, first serve basis;
 we request a $6 donation.