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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences Distinguished Lecture Series Event

17:30 - 19:30
29 June 2011
Room 1067 Building 58 - Murray Highfield Campus University of Southampton Southampton Hampshire SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Maggie Harriss on 023 8059 7568 or email .

Event details

The changing body: health, nutrition and human development in the western world since 1700.

At the end of the eighteenth century, the average British man was around 168cm tall by the time he reached maturity. By the end of the twentieth century, the average height of mature British men was around 177cm, and similar changes have taken place throughout the developed world. This lecture explores the causes and consequences of these changes for human health, longevity and even productivity. It also explores the implications of the concept of ‘technophysio evolution’. This phrase was coined by Robert Fogel and Dora Costa to describe changes in human development over the last three hundred years. They argued that recent generations ‘have gained an unprecedented degree of control over their environment – a degree of control so great that it sets them apart from all previous generations of homo sapiens’. The lecture will examine the extent to which this change lies at the heart of the physical changes which the lecture describes.

Speaker information

Professor Bernard Harris,Professor of the History of Social Policy

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