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Jared Diamond

AKA Jared Mason Diamond

Born: 10-Sep-1937
Birthplace: Boston, MA

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist [1]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Guns, Germs and Steel

Jared Diamond's work spans scientific disciplines including biogeography, ecology, evolutionary biology, linguistics, molecular cell physiology, ornithology, and pre-Columbian pottery. His studies of the mating patterns of New Guinea birds led him to the study of human sexuality, summarized physiologically in his book Why Is Sex Fun?. He also wrote Guns, Germs and Steel, exploring the fallacy of assuming that Eurasians are inherently superior to other peoples, and explaining instead that Europeans and Asians had geographical advantages that allowed them to conquer the rest of the world.

Diamond's best-known book, Collapse, explains the pattern followed historically by societies approaching demise, from the Aztec to the Vikings, and challenges the widespread but uninformed assumption that technology can save the Earth's polluted and endangered environment. Late in Collapse, Diamond presents a map of the world's most environmentally damaged and endangered areas, and contrasts it with a map of the world's most politically violent, unstable, and inequitable areas, showing that the two maps are essentially the same, and bolstering his theory that these are two key factors leading societies to the brink of collapse.


[1] Jonas E Alexis, Christianity's Dangerous Idea: How the Christian Principle & Spirit Offer the Best Explanation for Life & Why Other Alternatives Fail (2010), page 199.

Father: Louis Diamond (pediatrician, b. circa 1902, d. 1999)
Mother: Flora Diamond (concert pianist)
Sister: Susan (reporter-author)
Wife: Marie Cohen (clinical psychologist, m. 1982)
Son: Max (twin, b. circa 1987)
Son: Joshua (twin, b. circa 1987)

    University: BS Biochemistry, Harvard University (1958)
    University: PhD, Cambridge University (1961)
    Professor: Physiology, University of California at Los Angeles
    Professor: Geography, University of California at Los Angeles

    MacArthur Fellowship 1985
    James Randi Award 1994
    International Cosmos Prize 1998
    Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction 1998, for Guns, Germs and Steel
    Royal Society Prize for Science Books 1998, for Guns, Germs and Steel
    National Medal of Science 1999
    Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement 2001
    Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science 2002
    Dickson Prize 2006
    Royal Society Prize for Science Books 2006, for Collapse
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Ornithologists Union
    American Philosophical Society
    National Academy of Sciences

Author of books:
Avifauna of the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea (1972, nonfiction)
The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (1991, nonfiction)
The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (1992, nonfiction)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (1997, history)
Why is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality (1997, nonfiction)
The Birds of Northern Melanesia: Speciation, Ecology & Biogeography (2001, nonfiction)
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005, social studies)
Natural Experiments of History (2010, history)


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