Hilldale Lecture and Weekly DemSems

On Thursday, September 28, Peter Bearman will speak on campus as part of the Hilldale Lecture Series. Free and open to the public, the series features distinguished thinkers whose contributions to the arts, humanities, and biological, physical, and social sciences have received international recognition and acclaim.

Bearman, the Jonathan R. Cole Professor of the Social Sciences at Columbia, co-designed the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and has conducted research in historical sociology and the social determinants of autism.

Recently, Bearman’s research has examined the neural signatures associated with navigating social structures—a focal topic of his Hilldale lecture, “Uncovering Our Social Brain: The Neural Signatures of Reciprocity, Transitivity, and Identity in Human Groups.” Bearman’s talk will explore the neural mechanisms for the reproduction of inequality in popularity and the emergence of reciprocity, as well as the neural foundation for distinguishing types of interpersonal relationships.

Bearman’s lecture is sponsored by the Hilldale Fund, the Department of Sociology, CDE, the Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA), and the Neuroscience & Public Policy Program.

The Demography Seminar (DemSem), a weekly series that brings top interdisciplinary population scientists to CDE, got off to a terrific start this semester with presentations by John Cawley (Cornell) and Sanyu Mojola (Michigan).

CDE also hosted Jeremy Freese (Stanford), whose work explores the relationship between social and individual differences and between social and embodied advantage. His talk, “The Promise and Puzzles of Polygenic Scores: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study,” explored the use of genetic data, drawing on our own WLS—one of the longest-running population-based surveys in the U.S. that was developed by UW faculty and is currently led by Pamela Herd (CDHA director; professor of public affairs and sociology).

In October, Melinda Mills (University of Oxford) will present “A Molecular Genetic Approach to Fertility Behavior.” Mills conducts research that combines social science and genetic approaches to the study of behavioral outcomes, with particular focus on fertility, partnerships, and assortative mating. Mills, who received her PhD in demography from the University of Groningen, is a fellow of the European Academy of Sociology.