21 July 2017
on course website
This module will explore how London's vibrant historic and intellectual milieu stimulated revolutionary discoveries about the origins of life in general, and the development of humanity in particular.
Evolutionary biology is modern life science’s most important theory – and no other institution has been as influential in shaping this discipline as UCL.
This module explores our evolutionary history, how our primate ancestry still shapes our current lives and what evolution may hold for us in times to come. Various controversies, triggered by Darwinian theory are scruntinized.
Volker Sommer is professor of evolutionary anthropology at UCL. He conducts long-term field studies on the socio-ecology of monkeys and apes in the jungles of Asia and Africa.
As an evolutionary humanist, he is an activist for sexual self-determination
This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required for this module, but students are expected to have keen interest in the area.
Upon successful completion of this module, students will:
Have gained an appreciation of how we, as human beings, are connected with all other life forms through a common history of millions of years;
Understand our body and mind have a deep past shared with other apes and monkeys;
Have gained an appreciation of how this biological kinship entrusts us to preserve the magnificent biodiversity we are a part of;
Have gained the ability to speculate about the future of a special member of the mammalian order of Primates that we have come to call Homo sapiens;
Have gained the ability to recognise the implications of evolutionary thought for current political debates, such as those about sexual rights, non-human personhood and secular ethics.
7.5 ECTS / 4 US / 0.5 UCL
GBP 1850: Students joining us for six weeks (two modules) will receive a tuition discount of £400.
GBP 1000: Students may select a room in our designated Summer School residence for a fee of £1000 for one three-week session. The residence is within 20 minutes walk of UCL and comprises of single occupancy bedrooms with private bathroom and shared, fully-equipped kitchen. Bedding, wifi, coin operated laundry and 24 hour security are provided.
on course website