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Wednesday 27 February at 5.30pm

Edited by David Shankland, Director, RAI

Sean Kingston: RAI Occasional Publication Number. 45

The RAI is delighted to announce that the launch of the RAI’s most recent occasional publication ‘Dunbar’s Number’ will take place at the offices of the RAI on 27th February 2019, 5.30pm. This contains an autobiographical piece by Robin Dunbar explaining the genesis of his work, and also the text of his Huxley lecture. Other chapters (indicated given below) talk about the various ways that his work has stimulated further research, may be taken forward in the future. Professor Dunbar will be at the launch to talk about his work, as will some of the contributors.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to https://dunbarsnumber.eventbrite.co.uk

By special arrangement with the publishers, paperback copies are available privately to Fellows at the reduced price of £15 +£2.50 post and packing (where it needs to be sent). Please write to admin@therai.org.uk if any fellow would like one, or more copies. Copies will also be available at the launch at this price, and may be reserved beforehand.

The published list price of the volume is £50 (hardback) for library sales. The publisher’s description and list of contents are as follows:

Hardcover: 196 pages: Publisher: Sean Kingston Publishing (15 Feb. 2019): Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-1912385034


Dunbar’s Number, as the limit on the size of both social groups and personal social networks, has achieved something close to iconic status and is one of the most influential concepts to have emerged out of anthropology in the last quarter century. It is widely cited throughout the social sciences, archaeology, psychology and network science, and its reverberations have been felt as far afield as the worlds of business organization and social-networking sites, whose design it has come to underpin. Named after its originator, Robin Dunbar, whose career has spanned biological anthropology, zoology and evolutionary psychology, it stands testament to the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to human behaviour. In this collection Dunbar joins authors from a wide range of disciplines to explore Dunbar’s Number’s conceptual origins, as well as the evidence supporting it, and to reflect on its wider implications in archaeology, social anthropology and medicine.

“The celebrated Dunbar’s number is now well established as a key measure of human social organisation – but how did it come to be, what are its many ramifications? Full of stimulating ideas, this truly engaging collection is an indispensable way of finding out, its themes as appetising for general readers as students and academics.” John Gowlett, Professor of Archaeology and Evolutionary Anthropology, The University of Liverpool.

List of contents

Preface David Shankland

Chapter 1 Dunbar’s time and human evolution Clive Gamble

Chapter 2 From there to now, and the origins of some ideas R.I.M. Dunbar

Chapter 3 From 150 to 3 Dunbar’s numbers Russell A. Hill

Chapter 4 Inclusive hierarchies and the rank-size rule Matt Grove

Chapter 5 Monogamy and infanticide in complex societies Christopher Opie

Chapter 6 Untangling causality Multiple levels of explanation for human cognitive Evolution Robert A. Foley

Chapter 7 Lifting the gloomy curtain of time past Tracing the identity of the first cognitively modern hominin in deep history S.J. Underdown and S.J. Smith

Chapter 8 Ego-centred networks, community size and cohesion Dunbar’s Number and a Mandara Mountains conundrum James H. Wade

Chapter 9 About the curious power of dialogue Esther Goody

Chapter 10 Schizophrenia, evolution and self-transcendence Simon Dein

Chapter 11 Dunbar’s Number(s) Constraints on the social world R.I.M. Dunbar


Location : Royal Anthropological Institute
50 Fitzroy Street
United Kingdom