FW: studying memetics

Gatherer, D. (D.Gatherer@organon.nhe.akzonobel.nl)
Tue, 20 Apr 1999 12:30:47 +0200

Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 12:30:47 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <D.Gatherer@organon.nhe.akzonobel.nl>
Subject: FW: studying memetics
To: "'memetics@mmu.ac.uk'" <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>

-----Original Message-----
From: Gatherer, D. (Derek)
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 1999 8:12 AM
To: 'memetics@mmu.ac.uk'
Subject: RE: studying memetics

>Hi, I was wondering if you could help me with something. Are there any
>universities with masters degree programs in the study of memetics? If so,
>which are the best? What universities have been most associated with the
>development of meme theory. Thank you very much for any help you can
>Sincerely, Jackie Van Belle

As far as I know, there is only one full-time officially paid up memetic
academic in the UK and that is Kevin Laland who has a Royal Society
University Research Fellowship in the Department of Animal Behaviour in the
University of Cambridge. I left Cambridge just after he arrived so I don't
know him personally at all. I'm also pretty sure that there is no actual
course, and Royal Society Fellows are not expected to do much teaching (if
any). If you could get the funds together, you'd need to apply for the
Cambridge doctoral programme. Laland's recent research has focussed on
imitational behaviour in guppies, and trying to identify cultural phenomena
in 'lower' animals. He was previously with Henry Plotkin at University
College London, and then Marc Feldman at Stanford.

If you are in the US, then Feldman might be a better bet. He was
advertising for doctoral students the last time I saw the Standord graduate
prospectus. Stanford, unlike Laland, is a pure theorist, and I dare say
you'd need some fairly heavyweight maths skills to work with him.

You could also try William Durham at Stanford for a more anthropological
take on memetics. He might require that you have some prior anthropology
qualification, I don't know.

There's also quite a bit of memetics activity in the Media Lab at MIT, but
quite how one gets into MIT is unknown to me. Again I think it might have
to be a doctoral programme application.

Hope this helps


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