Biocultural engagement

Bioculture members visiting Moesgaard Museum and the evolutionary stairs before opening hours

Research communication - Communication research

With a strong commitment to engage the public and increase the understanding of human evolution we are involved in a series of high-profile outreach projects taking the latest research results out of the laboratory and into people’s lives.

 

Our ambition is not limited to communicating science, but also to optimize ways we are doing it by analysing best practices. The way we see it research communication is also communication research.

Meet the Family at Moesgaard Museum

Donald Johanson and Peter C. Kjærgaard with the Kennis brothers' "Lucy"

We have worked with Adrie and Alfons Kennis to recreate 6 hominins for a permanent exhibition on human evolution at the new Moesgaard Museum bringing the natural history of our species into a museum for cultural history. The hominins—Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo floresiensis—are accompanied by 3D digital dioramas recreating the worlds they lived in based on the fossil evidence from each of the individual fossil sites to make the scientifically most accurate reconstruction of their ecological contexts. The digital dioramas were made in collaboration with digital designers at ART+COM.

 

An additional section of the exhibit brings facial reconstructions and skulls of 12 hominins together making a direct comparison possible.

 

The next phase of the collaboration with Moesgaard Museum is a comprehensive world map covering 7 millions years of human evolution.

Where do you come from?

Some of the 800 high schools student volunteers at the concluding event at Aarhus University

In 2013 800 Danish high school children volunteered to donate their own DNA to write the genetic history of Denmark. They participated in the project at their local schools around the country and at Aarhus University at two full day sessions.

The project received massive media coverage.

More information and videos from the university sessions are available from Where are you from?

We are presently analysing the data.

Evolutionary music

The award-winning Danish composer Niels Marthinsen is writing an evolutionary piece for choir and orchestra, and a Darwin opera for Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. At the Centre for Biocultural History we are providing scientific advice for this creative initiative for communicating evolutionary theory and history to a broad audience. The two pieces will premiere in 2017 when Aarhus is European Capital of Culture.

Understanding anti-evolution

As creationism has become a global phenomenon including all major religions, it is more important than ever to understand the many and varied reasons for opposing evolutionary theory. It is often justified with reference to moral and cultural values, but is intrinsically linked to anti-scientific sentiments and campaigns.

 

We are working to understand the underlying reasons and patterns for the spread of creationism. The first comprehensive attempt to do it on a European scale has just been published by Johns Hopkins University Press as Creationism in Europe, edited by Stefaan Blancke, Hans Henrik  Hjermitslev & Peter C. Kjærgaard.

Recent articles

2015.01.20 | Publication, Biocultural engagement

NEW BOOK: Familien

Peter C. Kjærgaard's new book Familien on the extended human family is available to download as a free e-book or audio book in January.

2014.07.08 | People , Biocultural engagement

Luseadra McKerracher is a visiting PhD student

Luseadra McKerracher, visiting PhD candidate coming from the Simon Fraser University (Canada).

Team members

  • Professor Peter C. Kjærgaard, Director, Centre for Biocultural History, Aarhus University (Group Leader)
  • Dr Djuke Veldhuis, Postdoc, Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies & Centre for Biocultural History, Aarhus University
  • Lucy McKerracher, PhD student, Department of Archeology, Simon Fraser University & Centre for Biocultural History, Aarhus University
  • Trine Kellberg Nielsen, PhD student, Department of Archeology & Centre for Biocultural History, Aarhus University
  • Jessica Hartel, Postoc, Centre for Biocultural History, Aarhus University
  • Dr Blas Benito, Postdoc, Centre for Biocultural History and Department of Ecoinformatics, Aarhus University
  • Dr Alexandra Kratschmer, Associate Professor, Department of Aesthetics and Communication & Centre for Biocultural History, Aarhus University