UCL Anthropology


New Scientist cover story features research by Dr. Jerome Lewis

13 May 2019

Inspired by his work with Bayaka societies in central Africa, Lewis believes the first step for humans in finding their voice was singing for protection.

Jerome Lewis UCL Anthropology New Scientist cover story

Lewis suggests that descending from trees would have made our ancestors vulnerable to large predators and as a defence they relied on chanting in a chorus to disguise numbers and scare away animals. Read more about how these early musical vocalisations would have contributed to the evolution of language in the cover story for New Scientist.

Dr. Jerome Lewis is a Reader in Social Anthropology at UCL Anthropology, Co-director of Centre for the Anthropology of SustainabilityCo-Director of the Extreme Citizen Science Research Group and Co-editor of the Palgrave Studies in the Anthropology of Sustainability. His interests include language, dance and music, hunter-gatherer and former hunter-gatherer societies, egalitarian politics, play, ritual and religion, indigenous rights, participatory mapping and representation, extreme citizen science and new participatory research methodologies.

New Scientist is the world’s most popular weekly science and technology magazine. Its website, app and print editions cover international news from a scientific standpoint, and ask the biggest-picture questions about life, the universe and what it means to be human.