Nicholas Christakis is a physician and sociologist at Yale University, and Director of the Human Nature Lab at the Yale Institute for Network Science.

His previous books included Connected, about how social networks affect our health and our lives, and Death Foretold, about the sociology of prognosis. We discuss his new book Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society in which he writes about how evolutionary pressures gave human beings a set of social skills and desires that we can capitalize on to build a better society.

We also talk about Human Universals by Donald Brown. A related newer book is Our Common Denominator: Human Universals Revisited by Christoph Antweiler.

Let’s Shake Up the Social Sciences,”an essay by Nick, may be of interest to social scientists.

Here is a transcript of this episode.

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