History events at the IHR

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

22 January 2013, 17:15 - 19:15

Event Type: Seminar


Dr Bernard Harris (University of Southampton)



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 examines the extent to which this change lies at the heart of the physical changes which the lecture describes.

Venue: Room 102 (Senate House, first floor)

Senate House
Malet Street 
London WC1E 7HU 

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Related Events: Life-Cycles History