Andrew Whiten

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Andrew Whiten

David Andrew Whiten

1948 (age 72–73)
Grimsby, England
Known forresearch in social cognition
TitleProfessor of Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology; Professor Wardlaw Emeritus at University of St Andrews in Scotland
  • 2001 Delwart International Scientific Prize
  • 2007 Rivers Memorial Medal
  • 2007 Osman Hill Medal
  • 2014 Sir James Black Medal
  • 2015 Senior Prize and Medal for Public Engagement
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of St Andrews
Main interestsevolution of social cognition in human and non-human primates
WebsiteAndrew Whiten

David Andrew Whiten, known as Andrew Whiten (born 1948) is a British zoologist and psychologist, Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology, and Professor Wardlaw Emeritus at University of St Andrews in Scotland.[1][2] He is known for his research in social cognition, specifically on social learning, tradition and the evolution of culture, social Machiavellian intelligence, autism and imitation, as well as the behavioral ecology of sociality.[3] In 1996, Whiten and his colleagues invented an artificial fruit that allowed to study learning in apes and humans.[4][5]

Personal life and education[edit]

Whiten was born in 1948 in Grimsby, England.[6] He graduated with a degree in zoology from the University of Sheffield and achieved a PhD in Psychology at the University of Bristol.[3]


Whiten started reading and lecturing at the University of St Andrews in 1970, joined the Department of Psychology in St Andrews in 1975, and became professor of evolutionary and developmental psychology in 1997.[1][3] Whiten was co-founder of the Scottish Primate Research Group.[3] In 2003, he founded the Centre for Social Learning and Cultural Evolution at the University of St Andrews.[1] He also was founder and first director of the primate research center Living Links to Human Evolution (short: Living Links) that opened 2008 in Edinburgh Zoo and draws more than 250,000 visitors per year.[2][7][3]


Whiten is member of the following learned societies:[8]

He was member of the Editorial Board of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences, from 2008 to 2013.[9] He additionally chaired the Research Awards Committee of the British Academy from 2011 to 2013.[1][8]

Awards and honors[edit]

Whiten was awarded the Delwart International Scientific Prize by the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium in 2001,[10] the Rivers Memorial Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), and the Osman Hill Medal of the Primate Society of Great Britain in 2007. He is the first and only scientist who was awarded both, the Sir James Black Medal (in 2014) and the Senior Prize and Medal for Public Engagement (in 2015) by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[1][11][12][8][13][14]

He was awarded an honorary doctor of the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh in 2015, of the University of Stirling in 2016, and of the University of Edinburgh in 2016/2017.[11][15][16][17]


  1. ^ a b c d e Professor Andrew Whiten.
  2. ^ a b Professor Andrew Whiten has been awarded the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Senior Prize and Medal for Public Engagement., April 17, 2015
  3. ^ a b c d e Professor Andrew Whiten: Osman Hill Memorial Lecturer, 2010. In: Primate Eye. Primate Society of Great Britain. No. 102. October 2010. p. 3-4
  4. ^ A. Whiten et al.: Imitative learning of artificial fruit processing in children (Homo sapiens) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), 1996. In: Journal of comparative psychology 110 (1), 3. doi:10.1037/0735-7036.110.1.3
  5. ^ Ludwig Huber: Social learning affects object exploration and manipulation in keas, Nestor notabilis. In: Animal Behaviour, 2001, 62, 945–954 doi:10.1006/anbe.2001.1822
  6. ^ Bruce Gilchrist: The descendants of Charles Gilchrist and Catherine Robinson: married in Boston, Lincolnshire, 1798. Gateway Press, 2004
  7. ^ Edinburgh becomes heart of monkey study business. The Guardian, November 9, 2004
  8. ^ a b c "Andrew Whiten". Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  9. ^ Andrew Whiten at
  10. ^ News of Members. In: The Psychologist. Vol 15, No 2. February 2002
  11. ^ a b Andrew Whiten: Prizes.
  12. ^ "Honorary Graduates". Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "Award". Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  14. ^ "Andrew Whiten". Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  15. ^ Heriot-Watt University Honorary Graduates since 1966.
  16. ^ Honorary Graduates of the University of Stirling - Emeritus Professor Andrew Whiten.
  17. ^ Honorary graduates 2016/17.

Selected works[edit]

External links[edit]