The TBI workshop – putting theory into practice
In May 2012 scientists, historians and philosophers from all over the world met to discuss how to build theoreis of human evolution. The particpants came from a wide range of disciplines, with a view to consider how the many different approaches that now exist can be brought together in a more integrated form.
The venue for the meeting was the Turkana Basin institute, located on the banks of the river Turkwel, in the Turkana district of Northern Kenya. Founded by Richard Leakey, TBI is an international research institute set up to promote and support research into human evolution and related fields (ecology, earth sciences, anthropology) in an area that has yielded some of most significant fossils in human evolutionary history.
For three days the participants reviewed what we know about human evolution, how the different disciplines contributed, and how the various lines of evidence fitted together. In addition they set out to consider what makes a good model for explaining the evolution of humans, and how research might be developed to test new hypotheses in a trans-disciplinary environment.