Cultural Evolution Research Library

$1,000 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 12 people in 1 month
One of my big discoveries in the last five years has been that there are literally hundreds of books about cultural evolution... yet almost no one has surveyed and translated this vast literature for mainstream education.

The purpose of this campaign is to build the first dedicated library for cultural evolutionary studies. It will become part of a research center we are creating where change practitioners will be trained in the design science of intentional social change.

As many of you know, I was the project coordinator tasked with co-founding an international scientific society -- the Cultural Evolution Society -- that now has more than 2100 members from 50 countries around the world. During the two years that I oversaw the formation process I had the unique vantage point from which to observe the incredible diversity of knowledge represented by this integrative approach to biological and cultural studies.

I also observed a critical absence of formal infrastructure for the field of cultural evolutionary studies. There was not a single organization on Earth tasked with building educational infrastructure, coordinating research agendas, or building the capacities for collaboration that would deliver on the many promises of a rigorous applied science of social change.

So now I am taking up this responsibility and will be building vital infrastructure as part of a new research center focusing on applied cultural evolution to help increase the health and resilience of communities around the world. A small piece of this effort is to create a library of books that represent the field.

You can help seed this collection (that builds on the 150-200 books I already have in my personal library -- all o f which will ultimately be donated to the research center) by contributing to this fund. From these meager resources I will begin to gather books that represent the state of knowledge for cultural evolutionary studies. 

This will enable my team to write book reviews, create online course materials, and make this knowledge available to the public. Your contribution of $5, $50, or $500 will go a long way toward making this vision a reality.

Onward, fellow humans.
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We reached our goal! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this seed fund for creating a research library dedicated to cultural evolution (CE).

As you've probably guessed, $1000 is only enough to get the ball rolling. My intention is to use these seed funds to begin a design process for mapping out the aggregate knowledge of the CE field. What this means in simple terms is the following:

(1) Build a digital database of books that are relevant to the field. Make it searchable using a tagging system for categories that help make visible what the major topics and themes of cultural evolution are as developed by the research and practitioner communities.

(2) Curate a physical collection that will be housed at the research center we are forming -- the Center for Applied Cultural Evolution -- so that students and scholars can come peruse the books and embark on learning journeys together.

(3) Gradually build up a dynamic map of the "knowledge ecology" for this field. We will do this using the tagging system of the digital archive. What this means is we will seek additional funds and work to attract partners who can provide analytic support to study what the content of what we are pooling together here.

The library will emerge gradually throughout this year and may take a few years to become fully established. But when we are done, we will have a map of the territory for one of the most diverse and urgently needed fields of study that exists in the world today.

Thank you all for helping make this happen!


Joe Brewer
Soon-to-be Director
Center for Applied Cultural Evolution
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Dear Friends,

Yesterday I gathered and loaded an ENTIRE TRUCKLOAD of books donated to this library project by an evolutionary biologist and ecological economist named Jonathan Kochmer. This will more than triple the size of the collection.

Imagine how much knowledge there is to be catalogued, curated, and archived for future students of scientific approaches to social change.

It is so invigorating to watch this project take shape in the real world!


A truckload of cultural evolution books!
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As I ponder the significance of creating a Cultural Evolution Research Library this morning, I am reading a foundational text on sociobiology written in the mid-1970s...

It is powerful to reflect on how much progress has been made in the 40 years since this book came out. It is also very telling that someone like me—a non-academic “outsider” who weaves diverse bodies of knowledge for practical outcomes—is required to take such a fundamental step toward creating the research and educational infrastructure.

This simply would not happen within universities as they exist today. Ironically, the reasons why universities fail in this regard can only be explained scientifically using the approach I am helping create and solidify on institutional ground.

Onward, fellow humans.
From "Sociobiology: The New Synthesis"
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$1,000 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 12 people in 1 month
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Rick Brody
22 days ago
Wayne Lewis
23 days ago
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