Collective Intelligence

Social behaviour in humans is far from simple. It involves many complex factors, including factors reflecting individual and group psychology as well as numerous forms of cultural, political and environmental constraints. The way people interact is connected to the way simple living animals and organisms interact. This project is about understanding why people work together in the ways that they do. Understanding the complex ways in which humans interact with each other and with other animals and their environments appears to be an enormously challenging task, but one that is essential if we are to transform lives and regions in meaningful ways. The goal of this project is to explore and assess the relationship between different forms of ‘collective intelligence’ in relatively simple living systems.

The team

Jennifer Atchison (ASSH) is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography with expertise in human relationships with nature.

Patrick McGivern (ASSH) is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, with expertise in Philosophy of Science. His research focuses mainly on the concept of ‘emergent’ behaviours, where simple interactions between individuals give rise to much more complex behaviours in groups or collectives.

Marian Wong (SMAH) is a Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences. Her research focuses on the evolution and ecology of social behaviours using marine and freshwater fishes as model systems.


This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals