Barry Kuhle and Cathrine Salmon are developing a project that they call On the Origin of Human Behavior and Evolution Society: An Oral History Project, which includes a number of interviews of important figures in the various fields in which evolutionary ideas have been applied to human behavior.
This video features an interview with Leda Cosmides, one of the pioneers of the field of evolutionary psychology. Cosmides is a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, where she co-founded the Center for Evolutionary Psychology (CEP) with husband and collaborator John Tooby. Leda’s impact on evolutionary approaches cannot be overstated. Her awards and honors are numerous, and include the prestigious National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award. On a personal note, I might add that Leda was my advisor in graduate school and I certainly would not be where I am today — including editing the MIND page here at TVOL – if it were not for her expert tutelage (and limitless patience).
Even if you are very familiar with Cosmides’ work, you’ll learn a lot from this video, including how being 5 minutes late to a meeting with E. O. Wilson (when she was an undergrad at Harvard) was “key to her future,” how her seminal and award winning 1989 paper on cheater detection took four years and several rejections before getting published in Cognition, why she called the field she and John helped start “evolutionary psychology” as opposed to “human sociobiology,” and much more.
Most of her papers are available on the web page for the CEP. I hope you enjoy the video.
Reason TV interview (with John Tooby)