The Great Ape Challenge

07 - 09 July 2023 10:00 - 18:00 The Royal Society Free
The Great Ape challenge

This event is part of the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition 2023.

Language is unique to humans, but how it emerged through evolution remains a mystery.

The Great Ape Challenge is a research project that investigates the evolution and development of language. Professor Gilly Forrester (University of Sussex) and Dr Georgina Donati (University of Oxford) developed puzzles that mimic language structure and can be manipulated by all great apes (including humans) to test a theory that links solving problems with our hands to both the evolution and development of language. Experiments with these same puzzle boxes have been taking place across the UK and Africa with chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans to investigate how different ape species use their hands to achieve a goal.

Take the Great Ape Challenge!

Attending the event

This drop-in activity will be held at the following times:

Friday 7 July 2023, 10am — 6pm (Conference room)

Saturday 8 July 2023, 10am — 6pm (Wolfson 2 room)

Sunday 9 July 2023, 10am — 6pm (Wolfson 2 room)

  • Free to attend
  • In person only
  • No registration required
  • Suitable for adults and children ages 2+
  • Travel and accessibility information - contact us directly to arrange any specific accessibility requirements
  • Food and drink will be available for purchase at our onsite café

For all enquiries, please email us.