Calendar of Events


Mar 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Awareness of Death and Personal Mortality: Implications for Anthropogeny (CARTA SYMPOSIUM)


While certain warm-blooded social animals and birds appear to react selectively and specifically to the death of other members of their group, humans seem to be unusual in the quality and extent of our responses to death and ability to translate experiences into an understanding of our own personal mortality. When during childhood do these levels of understanding emerge? What is the underlying neurobiological basis for fears of death and mortality? When during human evolution did these fears emerge, and how did our ancestors tolerate them without sinking into an evolutionary dead end of depression or hopelessness?

Assuming we found a solution to this dilemma, why are we still the only mammals that commit suicide? What does the archaeological, historical and cross-cultural record tell us about these matters? And what are the consequences for our current human condition, ranging from self-esteem to social organization, to political leanings?

CARTA’s March 3 symposium, Awareness of Death and Personal Mortality: Implications for Anthropogeny, will bring together expert speakers from a wide range of different disciplines that are relevant to seeking answers to these questions. In the process we will gain a better understanding of how increasing awareness of death and personal mortality shaped the origin of humans.

Free admission but registration is required. See website for details.

A live webcast of this symposium will also available.

Presented by UC San Diego/Salk Institute Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) and sponsored by the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation.

Event Website

Date and Time

Mar 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm


Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium, Salk Institute

Event Registration

Registration for this event is required by Mar 3, 2017.

Event Fee



Ingrid Benirschke-Perkins    858-246-0846


Faculty, Staff, Students, The General Public

Event Host

CARTA—Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny

Event Category

Talks and Lectures