Humans Understanding Humans 


Our passion is to understand humans – our brains, bodies and behaviors – across myriad societies, today, and deep into our evolutionary past. Members of our department live, study, and collaborate with communities across the globe, from Oceanic islands to Africa’s Rift Valley. We probe our genetic code, compare ourselves to other species, reconstruct ancient lifeways, and explore the functions of our bodies including our microbiomes.

As a community, we recognize that the history of research on these topics has been fraught, often feeding into racist and sexist ideologies.

However, we are also inspired by those among our predecessors who spearheaded the intellectual movements that have long battled pseudo-scientific and oppressive ideologies. Our intellectual journey leads us to marvel at the depth of our shared humanity, confront the challenges posed by human nature, and embrace our species’ diversity in all its forms.

To better pursue this mission, we affirm our commitment to creating an open, inclusive and inviting environment in which everyone feels comfortable sharing their perspectives, challenging others’ ideas, and asking difficult questions. Free speech, intellectual tolerance and academic openness are central to HEB’s scientific enterprise.

To enrich our community, we seek new members from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, cultures, orientations, experiences, and heritages. We especially invite people from all historically disadvantaged and under-represented populations from around the world and within the United States, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Join us in tackling one of sciences’ greatest challenges: what makes us human?