Nils Metternich, Reader in International Relations at the Department of Political Science, appeared on the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast to discuss why humans fight. On the other side of the table was Mike Martin, author of ‘Why We Fight’ and visiting research fellow at the Department of War Studies at Kings College London. Dr Martin argued that conflict is driven by man’s subconscious desires, shaped by millions of years of evolution. Nils, on the contrary, emphasised that conflict is costly and actors prefer to avoid it. He outlined how cutting-edge research methods are used to understand conflict, and increasingly, to predict and prevent its onset. Click here to listen.