War can seem like humanity’s constant companion. But there may be ways to lessen the desire for revenge and help people put down their arms. A surprising new study describes how a Papua New Guinea tribe known for warfare has found ways to keep the peace. What do tribes like this have to tell us about violence in other societies? Are we destined to fight, or can we really turn warriors into peacemakers?
Join us for a live chat with the paper’s author, Polly Wiessner at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 4 October, on this page. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts. The full text of the chat will be archived on this page.
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Polly Wiessner is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah. She has conducted research among the Kalahari Bushmen since 1973 on the role of social networks in reducing risk and how Bushmen reconfigure social networks to fit changing times. Over the past decade she has studied the impact of the adoption of high-powered weapons into tribal fighting, a corresponding surge in warfare between 1990-2008, followed by a recent movement towards peace.
Contributing News Editor Elizabeth Culotta has been writing and editing stories for Science for 20 years, most recently exploring how humans and their ancestors evolved.