Earlier this week, the writer/ documentary filmmaker Soo Na Pak and I had a conversation about anthropology, which she transcribed and posted on her blog. She emailed me after finding the post I wrote on the loss of my brother titled “Life is Beautiful,” and asked if we could talk about some of these things more in depth on the phone. The discussion was a lengthy one that spanned a variety of topics, but I think the main themes were about how we can find some anchors in science which provide optimism, resilience, and hope under difficult circumstances. We also talked about the evolution of humans as a biocultural species, plasticity, and whether some of our more powerful emotions – like grief and love – can be considered adaptive. There’s also some personal stuff in there too. It was a fun experience. Thank you, Soo Na.