Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Prof Robin Dunbar, Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology has been in conversation with Jim Al-Khalili on Radio 4's Life Scientific. This fascinating podcast gives takes us on a journey from his early beginnings in science, and his fascinating research and groundbreaking discoveries he's made deciphering the mysteries as to why humans and animals evolve the social habits to exist in friendship circles.

Initially, Robin commenced his studies as a philosopher. However, as fate would dictate, his zoology modules as part of his course under the leadership of Nikolaas Tinbergen nudged him towards a passion for research into animal behaviour. 

Including details of his adventures doing fieldwork in the African bush, research into animal social behaviour, before leading into his breakthroughs behind the secrets of animal human social behaviour such as his debunking of the hygiene hypothesis for social grooming and bonding and the discovery of Dunbar's number.

Listen

Similar stories

How to use the science of the body clock to improve our sleep and health

Professor Russell Foster has written a new book about circadian neuroscience which is published by Penguin this week. This book review by Jacqueline Pumphrey was first published on the University of Oxford website.

Cathy Creswell Elected Fellow of Academy of Medical Sciences

Cathy Creswell, Professor of Developmental Clinical Psychology, Departments of Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

New Year's Honours for Professor Irene Tracey

Professor Irene Tracey FMedSci, MAE, Professor of Anaesthetic Neuroscience and Warden of Merton College, has been appointed CBE for services to medical research.

Highly Cited Researchers 2021

Our researchers feature strongly in the latest list

Evaluating risk to people with epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic - study wins international prize

In May 2020 our researchers initiated a global project to investigate how COVID-19 has affected people with epilepsy, their carers and health care workers.