Friday, July 15th, 3pm, Hughes Building Room 323

Presented by Professor Wesley Wildman

Abstract: The Simulating Religion Project (SRP) is a cluster of subprojects within the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion aiming to apply modeling and simulation techniques to the scientific study of religion. Computer modeling and simulation depends on data, so building and finding datasets is vital. There has been little past simulation research in religion. Extant work has posited very simple human minds, simple interactions, simple behaviors, and simple modes of change. This is for good reasons: excessive complexity in a simulation obscures the relevant lines of causality and causes us to lose cognitive control over our own model. But this leaves us in a tension: too much simplicity gives wrong answers, and too much complexity gives unclear and confused ones. SRP integrates multiple theories of religious cognition and produces tools that are capable of testing hypotheses regarding religion’s social and cultural effects. In particular, the Simulating Religion Project tries to answer questions such as, “What are the factors that contribute to civilizational transformation?”, “What role does religion play in social change?”, “How do human cognition and sociality combine to transform individuals?”, and “How do evolved cognitive, emotional and social tendencies interact?” Simulation techniques permit a newly persuasive approach to such questions, complementing approaches pursued in other disciplines.


Bio: Wesley J. Wildman is Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics at Boston University and Research Scientist in the Veterans Administration Health Care System, Boston. He is a philosopher of religion specializing in the scientific study of religion and his research and publications pursue a multidisciplinary, comparative approach to topics within the academic study of religion. He is co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion, an independent research institute devoted to the scientific study of religion (, and founding co-editor of the institute’s Taylor & Francis journal Religion, Brain & Behavior. He is Principle Investigator on a variety of research initiatives, including the Modeling Religion Project, which applies tools from the world of computer modeling and simulation to the scientific study of religion. For further information, see

Some recent books: His book on Spirit Tech: Brain-based Technologies of Spiritual Enhancement is completed and should appear in 2017. His six-volume Religious Philosophy series is nearing completion: (1) Religious Philosophy as Multidisciplinary Comparative Inquiry: Envisioning a Future for the Philosophy of Religion (SUNY, 2010); (2) In Our Own Image:Anthropomorphism, Apophaticism, and Ultimacy (forthcoming); (3) Science and Ultimate Reality (in progress); (4) Science and Religious Anthropology (Ashgate, 2009); (5) Religious and Spiritual Experiences (Cambridge University Press, 2011); and (6) Effing the Ineffable: Existential Mumblings at the Limits of Language (forthcoming).


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How to write a review for publication_ July112016

Presented by Dr Rachel Roberts and Dr Diana Dorstyn, School of Psychology, University of Adelaide

Date: Monday 11 July 2016

Time: 1-2pm

Location: Room 323, Level 3 Hughes Building, North Terrace Campus

No RSVP required, all welcome!

Abstract: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses provide a straightforward process for undertaking and writing a literature review. By undertaking such a review you can demonstrate important theoretical/methodological gaps in the literature which can be used to better design and justify future research. This type of review can also be turned into a manuscript for submission. This seminar will provide you with guidance on how to review and write a quantitative review for publication. In addition, we will clarify the strengths and weakness of different types of review and discuss how these reviews fit with APAC Accreditation Standards for honours and masters research projects.

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Presented by Associate Professor Maureen Ashe, University of British Columbia

Date: Thursday 23 June 2016

Time: 1-2pm

Location: Room 526, Level 5 Hughes Building, North Terrace Campus

No RSVP required, all welcome!

Speaker: Dr. Maureen Ashe is Associate Professor in the UBC Department of Family Practice, investigator at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, physiotherapist, and Canada Research Chair in Community Mobility. Maureen’s research program includes characterising physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns across different populations and the mobility spectrum, such as older adults after low trauma fracture, older adults who reside in Assisted Living communities, and middle-age adults at or near retirement. Her work also includes testing interventions that aim to improve or maintain mobility across these populations.

Abstract: Older adults spend prolonged periods in sedentary behaviour and few meet recommended guidelines for physical activity; collectively, these factors can impact on their community mobility. Although evidence-based physical activity strategies are available, programs are not always routinely implemented across geographic regions, resulting in care gaps with substantial consequences for older adults. Thus, it is important to focus on how to effectively disseminate and implement best evidence into practice to optimize the potential for program uptake and sustainability. This presentation will provide an overview of knowledge translation with a focus on the development and implementation of a lifestyle intervention for middle-aged and older adults, Return to Everyday Activity in the Community and Home (REACH).

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Presented by Professor Philip Gerrans, School of Philosophy, University of Adelaide Date: Thursday 9 June 2016 Time: 1-2pm* *Please note – the time of this event was incorrectly advertised in the Executive Dean’s News this week. 1 – 2pm is the correct time* Location: Room 526, Level 5 Hughes Building, North Terrace Campus No RSVP […]

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Presented by Associate Professor Denis Drieghe, University of Southampton, UK Date: Thursday 12 May 2016 Time: 1- 2pm Location: Room 526, Level 5 Hughes Building, North Terrace Campus No RSVP required, all welcome! Speaker: Associate Professor Denis Drieghe is head of the Centre for Vision and Cognition at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdm. He earned his PhD […]

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Professor Elizabeth Grunfeld is the Executive Director for the Centre for Technology Enabled Health. Her research focuses on perceived and actual threats to health. She believes that understanding how people make sense of, respond and adapt to these threats is important not only to advance our theoretical understanding of how, and under what conditions, individuals are able to successfully […]

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Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol and University of Western Australia, is an award-winning teacher whose research has been funded continuously since 1990 by public agencies in 5 countries. His most recent research interests examine the potential conflict between human cognition and the physics of the global climate. He has published around 150 scholarly articles, […]

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There’s a new video on searching PsycINFO – it covers title, abstract, textword and multiple field searching – on my video page I’ve now worked out how to add a linked contents list, so you can just watch individual sections if you want to. Hope it makes searching easier!! Maureen

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Jason Hart is Senior Lecturer in the Anthropology of International Development at the University of Bath, a research associate at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford and a visiting professor at the Norwegian Technical University, Trondheim. His research has explored the experiences of young people in settings of armed conflict and displacement, and the nature […]

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Professor Anne Hammarström is visiting us from Umeå University in Sweden. She did her PhD in Public Health at the Karolinska Institute on Youth Unemployment and Ill-health (1986) and spent a year at this University in Psychology and Social Inquiry and Women’s Studies (1999). She is currently a Professor of Public Health, and holder of […]

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