Brenna Hassett explores how evolutionary history has shaped a weird and wonderful phenomenon that everyone on the planet experiences – childhood.
Paleoanthropological science has revealed that we have one particular thing that sets us apart as a species: our uniquely long childhoods. This book looks at how we have diverged from our primate roots to stay ‘forever young’ – or at least what seems like forever – and how the evolution of childhood is a critical part of the human story.
Brenna Hassett PhD is a biological anthropologist and archaeologist whose career, first at the Natural History Museum London and now at University College London, has taken her around the globe, researching the past using the clues left behind in human remains. Her research focuses on the evidence of health and growth locked into teeth, and she uses dental anthropological techniques to investigate how children grew (or didn’t) across the world and across time.
Her first book with Bloomsbury – Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death – was well received by critics at the LA Times, the Guardian, and The Times, which named it one of the top 10 science books of 2018.
The music used in this episode is by Thula Borah and is used with permission.