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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness


Evolutionary Psychiatry

Evolutionary Psychiatry Special Interest Group (EPSIG)

Second EPSIG Symposium 12th January 2018 - BOOKING NOW OPEN

Aims and Objectives




How to join


Meetings and Events



Second EPSIG Symposium 12th January 2018 - BOOKING NOW OPEN

The Evolutionary Psychiatry Special Interest Group (EPSIG) invites both college members and non-members to attend their second Annual Symposium. The event will provide you with insight into the latest thinking in this area of psychiatry with a particular focus on evolutionary models of mental disorders.


Keynote speakers at the conference:


Life History Theory: A Framework for the Understanding of Personality Disorder

Martin Brüne, Professor of Psychiatry at the Ruhr University, Germany is an eminent evolutionary scholar and author of the Textbook of Evolutionary Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine, the second edition of which was published in 2015.


From caring to compassion: an evolutionary journey and social implication exploration

Paul Gilbert is Professor of Psychology at the University of Derby. He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology for over 40 years and has authored/edited 21 books and over 200 papers. Paul is the originator of Compassion-Focused Therapy which is based on evolutionary insights. He established the Compassionate Mind Foundation in 2006 which has since developed into a global movement. He was awarded the OBE in 2011.


An Evolutionary Account of Brain Laterality

Iain McGilchrist, is author of the widely acclaimed ‘The Master and his Emissary’. Dr McGilchrist is a former consultant psychiatrist and clinical director at the Bethlem and former fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He came to medicine from the humanities and seeks to understand the mind and brain by seeing them in the broadest possible context—that of the whole of our physical and spiritual existence, and of the wider human culture in which they arise.


What Clinicians Can Learn from Evolutionary Psychiatry

Alfonso Troisi, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rome is one of the pioneers of the application of evolutionary theory to psychiatry and co-author of ‘Darwinian Psychiatry’ which is a landmark and foundational text in the field. His book ‘The Painted Mind: Evolutionary Behavioural Science Reflected in Great Paintings’ was published in 2017.


A full programme with details of the other sessions can be downloaded here.


Tickets can be purchased for £125 through our online booking website. A reduced price of £95 is available for Retired or Student Associate members of the college. For further information contact


Aims and Objectives


  1. Raise awareness of the value of understanding the contribution of evolutionary theory to psychiatry.
  2. Encourage research into the evolutionary psychiatry.
  3. Provide a forum for psychiatrists and others to discuss evolutionary models, research ideas and data with fellow evolutionists.
  4. Facilitate networking with academic institutions and evolutionary scientists, biologists, psychotherapists, psychologists and other disciplines such as philosophy.
  5. Keep members and supporters of the SIG informed via a webpage and newsletter.
  6. Organise workshops, symposia and conferences on Evolutionary Psychiatry and related subjects.
  7. Organise sessions at the WPA and the RCPsych’s International Congress as well as with other college Faculties and Divisions.




Riadh Abed


Dr Riadh Abed

Agnes Ayton


Dr Agnes Ayton

Paul St John-Smith
Website and Newsletter Editor


Dr Paul St John-Smith

Annie Swanepoel
Associate Newsletter Editor


How to join

If you would like to join the EPSIG or are interested in being part of the SIG committee please contact SIGAdmin.

We are keen to recruit new members and people to become members of the core committee.


Meetings and Events




Presentations from the EPSIG Half-day Scientific Meeting 19 May 2017

Presentations from EPSIG AGM January 2017

Presentations from the first EPSIG Symposium





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