Evolving language

Visual by Sean Roberts, Shawn Tice, and Marisa Casillas

This was one of the most fun science communication events we did, part of a series over the course of 2012-2014. Participants did a communication game where they could only signal using slide whistles. After completing a round, a new pair could start by learning the signals invented in the prior round (an iterated communication game). While people played, onlookers could get an abstract view into the evolving system.

Dingemanse, M., Verhoef, T., & Roberts, S. G. (2014). The role of iconicity in the cultural evolution of communicative signals. In B. de Boer & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of Evolang X Workshop on Signals, Speech and Signs (pp. 11–15). PDF
Verhoef, T., Roberts, S. G., & Dingemanse, M. (2015). Emergence of systematic iconicity: transmission, interaction and analogy. In D. Noelle, R. Dale, A. S. Warlaumont, J. Yoshimi, T. Matlock, C. D. Jennings, & P. P. Maglio (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2481–2486). Cognitive Science Society. PDF

Science communication expert Dr. Hannah Little singled out this event as an example of effective science communication.

Little 2023:25 ‘Principles of good research communication’