Donate Now

Ethical Matters:
How Did We Talk Our Way Out of the Stone Age?

7th April 2024 · 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Brockway Room | Virtual event

Event has passed
Ethical Matters: How Did We Talk Our Way Out of the Stone Age?

The relationship between language, thought and culture is of concern to anyone with an interest in what it means to be human. In this Ethical Matters talk, Steven Mithen explains how the invention of words at 1.6 million years ago began the evolution of human language from the ape-like calls of our earliest ancestors to our capabilities of today, with over 6000 languages in the world and each of us knowing over 50,000 words.

Drawing on the latest discoveries in archaeology, linguistics, psychology, and genetics, he reconstructs the steps by which language evolved; he explains how it transformed the nature of thought and culture, and how we talked our way out of the Stone Age into the world of farming and swiftly into today’s Digital Age.

Steven Mithen is Professor of Early Prehistory at the University of Reading, having previously served as Pro Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor. He has published widely within his field and has written a number of bestselling books, including The Singing Neanderthals, After the Ice and The Prehistory of the Mind. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2004. His book The Language Puzzle: How We Talked Our Way Out of the Stone Age will be available on the day.

Age Recommendation: 16+

Price: Standard (in person) £9 • Concessions (in person) £6 Standard (online) £6 Members FREE

Access Information

Due to the age and Grade Il listing of the building, there is no lift access to rooms above the ground floor.

All the ground-floor rooms are fully accessible by wheelchair. Main Hall (street access, step-free), Brockway Room (street access, step-free), Bertrand Russell Room (street access, shallow ramp), Hive Cafe (street access, step-free), There is also an accessible toilet on the ground floor opposite the Brockway Room.


Other events that may interest you

Ethical Gaming: What we are in Digital Worlds (Online Only)

The Evolution Of Nostalgia

Event has passed

Further Info

This event will be held with an in-person audience at Conway Hall and online via livestream. Everyone wishing to join this event must register for a ticket in advance.

If you have any accessibility enquiries, please contact us at / 020 7405 1818.

Read more about how we use Cookies in our Privacy Policy.


We need your help!

We host talks, concerts, performances, community and social events. However, we are an independent charity and receive no funding from the government. Everything we do is dependent upon our commercial activity and the generosity of supporters like you.

Donate Now