Niccolo Caldararo’s new book Big Brains and the Human Superorganism: Why Special Brains Appear in Hominids and Other Social Animals (2017) show cases his prodigious cross-disciplinary knowledge. The book is nicely organized beginning with human craniomania of the 19th and 20th centuries and ending in the apparent downward spiral of homo. It is a logical and well formulated literary progression.
Caldararo’s book may serve as a helpful introduction to the general topic of superorganisms and the question of a human superorganism. The text is full of citations linked to a variety of related issues or implications, so readers can pursue the cited literature according to their individual interests. The interdisciplinary reach of this relatively short work is impressive, however ambitious, and may inspire further interdisciplinary approaches to the evolutionary role of human brains—past, present or future—in culture, society, and the species at large.