Evolution of Technology

Over the course of human evolutionary history, technology has affected all facets of our lives: our bodies, our brains, our social lives, and our environments. The IAST Research Team on the Evolution of Technology aims to encourage collaboration on topics related to the evolution of technology, broadly defined as those techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of products or services or in the accomplishment of objectives. The team seeks to improve our understanding of the evolution of technology over short, long, and very long-time scales and its implications for human biological and cultural evolution. It addresses questions such as: Which sets of biological traits and social structures allow humans to develop increasingly complex technologies? Which environmental and social conditions are especially conducive to the evolution of technology? How has technology affected our biology, and the way we think? How does it affect our use of time, space, and natural resources? Our interdisciplinary research leverages collaborations between biologists, economists, psychologists and anthropologists and incorporates a variety of methods, such as mathematical models, experiments and ethnographic studies.