Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B has published a theme issue with the title Process and pattern in innovations from cells to societies (see a list of papers below). The published articles approach innovation both with theoretical and conceptual, but also with experimental methods. What makes an innovation, who innovates, and when do innovations occur? This issue addresses many questions that were also raised at this year’s Culture Conference.

Article list:

Innovation: an emerging focus from cells to societies
Michael E. Hochberg, Pablo A. Marquet, Robert Boyd, Andreas Wagner

Information theory, evolutionary innovations and evolvability
Andreas Wagner

The topology of evolutionary novelty and innovation in macroevolution
Douglas H. Erwin

Phylogenetic tests for evolutionary innovation: the problematic link between key innovations and exceptional diversification
Daniel L. Rabosky

The origin of heredity in protocells
Timothy West, Victor Sojo, Andrew Pomiankowski, Nick Lane

Nascent life cycles and the emergence of higher-level individuality
William C. Ratcliff, Matthew Herron, Peter L. Conlin, Eric Libby

Cooperation and cheating as innovation: insights from cellular societies
Athena Aktipis, Carlo C. Maley

Non-adaptive origins of evolutionary innovations increase network complexity in interacting digital organisms
Miguel A. Fortuna, Luis Zaman, Andreas Wagner, Jordi Bascompte

Sampling the mobile gene pool: innovation via horizontal gene transfer in bacteria
James P. J. Hall, Michael A. Brockhurst, Ellie Harrison

The conceptual foundations of network-based diffusion analysis: choosing networks and interpreting results
Will Hoppitt

Inferring processes of cultural transmission: the critical role of rare variants in distinguishing neutrality from novelty biases
James P. O’Dwyer, Anne Kandler

Innovation and social transmission in experimental micro-societies: exploring the scope of cumulative culture in young children
Nicola McGuigan, Emily Burdett, Vanessa Burgess, Lewis Dean, Amanda Lucas, Gillian Vale, Andrew Whiten

Cognitive innovations and the evolutionary biology of expertise
Reuven Dukas

Geographic mosaics and changing rates of cereal domestication
Robin G. Allaby, Chris Stevens, Leilani Lucas, Osamu Maeda, Dorian Q. Fuller

The niche construction of cultural complexity: interactions between innovations, population size and the environment
Laurel Fogarty, Nicole Creanza

Innovation and the growth of human population
V. P. Weinberger, C. Quiñinao, P. A. Marquet

Categories: Communication