Dr. Jane Lancaster Honored in Human Nature

Departmental News

Posted:  Sep 11, 2020 - 12:00pm

Dr. Jane Lancaster, Distinguished Professor Emerita, has been honored in the latest edition of Human Nature, the interdisciplinary journal she founded in 1990.  Dr. Louis Alvarado, current editor and UNM Alum (PhD, 2015), writes:

Thirty years ago, Jane B. Lancaster penned her inaugural editorial, “An Interdisciplinary, Biosocial Perspective on Human Nature.”  With this, she launched an innovative journal that was instrumental to the nascent years of a maturing discipline. She outlined numerous urgent social issues of the time, all still topical, including climate change, social inequity and feminization of poverty, global hunger, and nuclear war. Any possibility of enacting solutions, she contended, requires an understanding of the very substance of our species. After all, famine appears irresolvable through agricultural innovation alone, and the threat of nuclear war is more than a technological issue. These sociocultural, -political, and -ecological quandaries must be approached with an unblinkered view of our nature, as collectively expressed in human behavior. Since its inception, Human Nature has become the vehicle that Jane envisioned, and in her retirement, she has left a gift to our field—an enduring beacon devoted to human diversity in its myriad forms.  Read the full editorial
In his article, Dr. Robert Hitchcock (UNM PhD, 1982) writes:
Jane Lancaster’s work is groundbreaking and trendsetting in a number of disciplines. In primate studies she worked on the similarities and differences between humans and nonhuman primates (see Lancaster 1975). Other areas include play and parenting, human mating and family formation strategies, and the evolutionary biology of women. Her work is intriguing not only because of its high scientific quality but also because of the breadth of areas that she has covered. Read the full article