NIMBioS logo banner. DySoC logo banner.

DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar Series

DySoC and NIMBioS are hosting a series of seminars on topics related to social complexity. Monthly seminars will be held at NIMBioS in Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.

D. Ruck photo.

Speaker: Dr. Damian Ruck, Anthropology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC)

Time/Date: Monday, September 24, 2018, 3:30*

Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.

Topic: Cultural prerequisites for democracy and economic development

Abstract: The World Values Survey (WVS) quantifies the cultural values of 109 nations that represent 95 percent of the world's population on all six inhabited continents. Using unsupervised statistical methods, we present two orthogonal cultural components (Openness and Secular-Rationality) that underlie these data. Using a multilevel time series model, we show that Openness and Secular-Rationality must generally be infused into the population of a country before it becomes economically developed. Moreover, these cultural values not only also predict future levels of democracy, but also predict future democratic stability.

Damian Ruck is a postdoctoral fellow with Alex Bentley in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee. He earned a PhD at the University of Bristol in the Bristol Center for Complexity Sciences, funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. His research focuses on modeling the dynamics of global cultural values and their role in human development using advanced computational and statistical methods.

*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m.

Seminar Flyer (pdf)

Video icon.Watch seminar online. This seminar was streamed live. Live-streamed seminars are archived for later viewing on NIMBIoS' YouTube channel.

For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit

1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410
PH: (865) 974-9334
FAX: (865) 974-9461
Contact NIMBioS

From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
©2008-2021 National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. All rights reserved.