Here is another in the CONVERSATIONS AT EDGE series, in this instance a conversation with Jared Diamond who explains, “I’ve set myself the modest task of trying to explain the broad pattern of human history, on all the continents, for the last 13,000 years. Why did history take such different evolutionary courses for peoples of different continents? This problem has fascinated me for a long time, but it’s now ripe for a new synthesis because of recent advances in many fields seemingly remote from history, including molecular biology, plant and animal genetics and biogeography, archaeology, and linguistics.”
Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the author of The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain’s 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.
Dr. Diamond is also the author of two other trade books: The Third Chimpanzee, which won The Los Angeles Times Book award for the best science book of 1992 and Britain’s 1992 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize; and Why is Sex Fun? (ScienceMasters Series).
Dr. Diamond is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (“Genius Award”); research prizes of the American Physiological Society, National Geographic Society, and Zoological Society of San Diego; and many teaching awards and endowed public lectureships. In addition, he has been elected a member of all three of the leading national scientific/academic honorary societies (National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society).
His field experience includes 17 expeditions to New Guinea and neighboring islands, to study ecology and evolution of birds; rediscovery of New Guinea’s long-lost goldenfronted bowerbird; other field projects in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. As a conservationist he devised a comprehensive plan, almost all of which was subsequently implemented, for Indonesian New Guinea’s national park system; numerous field projects for the Indonesian government and World Wildlife Fund; founding member of the board of the Society of Conservation Biology; member of the Board of Directors of World Wildlife Fund/USA.
To watch this Diamond video and/or read the transcript of it, please click here
To watch all the CONVERSATIONS AT EDGE, please click here.
John Brockman is Editor and Publisher at Edge. To learn more about the organization from him, please click here.