The modern world is driven by war and conflict, much of it fueled by tension and suspicion among ethnic and religious groups. What are the evolutionary roots of prejudice and war? What drives suicide bombers to kill themselves? And given our history, will we ever be able to live in a world without war?
Scott Atran is research director in anthropology at the French Centre national de la recherche scientifique and member of the Jean Nicod Institute at the École Normale Supérieure. He has experimented extensively on the ways scientists and ordinary people categorize and reason about nature, on the cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion, and on the limits of rational choice in political and cultural conflict.
Steven Neuberg is Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. Employing an evolutionary approach to human sociality, his research seeks to better understand the origins, nature, and nuances of prejudices and stereotypes. He also leads a multidisciplinary, global study investigating the ways in which religion might shape intergroup conflict.