Delve into danger
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What we don’t understand often looks dangerous, and the barriers of our own anxieties are hard to get over. The incomprehensible power of new and complex technologies see us pull back in fear. What seem like the freakish sexual and social mores of others generate moral panic. Both of these reactions stop us from thinking – so maybe if we want to be able to deal with change, we need to dive into what seems dangerous, from algorithms and quantum computing to sexy selfies.
Khandis Blake’s work looks at the ways in which gender issues are influenced by the interplay between biological and economic forces and whether gendered phenomena such as intimate partner violence and male-male aggression are partially the result of mating market dynamics. She also looks at the causes and consequences of competition between women and the way that female sexualisation influences women's agency.
Rob Brooks is Professor of Evolution, Director of the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre, and Academic Lead of the Grand Challenges Program at UNSW Sydney. He studies sexual reproduction and how it shapes the behaviour, diet, lifespan and ageing of animals, including human animals. He has won prizes both for his research and his popular writing, including the Eureka Prize and, for his first book – Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll: How Evolution has Shaped the Modern World (2011, NewSouth Books), the 2012 Queensland Literary Prize for Science Writing. He is currently fascinated by how interactions between evolutionary history and contemporary economics and culture shape human lives, societies and ideological beliefs.