Author Archives: jedstevenson

Top ten books of 2013

These are the books that marked the year for me.* Each resonated in one way or another with things I’ve learned as a researcher in Ethiopia and Congo, and as a dad.   1. The landgrabbers: The new fight over … Continue reading

Posted in anthropology, climate, education, environmental science, evolution, food, health, inspiration, medicine, politics | 2 Comments

A day in the life, in the Congo rainforest

A further installment from last summer’s research trip to the Congo   Within an hour of sunrise, I was woken by the heat. Outside my tent, Jerome sat on a makeshift bench, with his laptop open in front of him. … Continue reading

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The roots of egalitarianism

Are we natural democrats? Or will tyrants always be with us?   IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, a handful of anthropologists, living with hunter-gatherers, described the workings of societies without leaders, where food seemed to be equally available to all. [1] … Continue reading

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Hunter-gatherer conference: day 1

  Today was the first day of the international Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHaGS).   The 10th meeting of its kind since 1966, it’s brought together approximately 200 delegates — scholars from all four continents, and from the … Continue reading

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Four ways to change the world, from university

Last week a conference at University College London made me reconsider what universities are, and what they might be. These thoughts seem so vital right now that I’m interrupting the narrative of my trip to Congo to share them. The … Continue reading

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Into the forest

ON THE ROAD out of Pokola, I feel excited. It’s been two weeks since we got to Congo, and now at last we’re entering the forest. At one point not far out of town, trees form a green tunnel, bending … Continue reading

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Arriving in Congo

FROM THE RIVERSIDE, you can see both of the Congos at once. Across the Pool Malebo, the widest point on the river, Brazzaville and Kinshasa — the capitals of the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (the … Continue reading

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