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Presidential Lecture Speaker Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond


Jared Diamond is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. His multifaceted career as a writer and teacher extends to conducting field research in the Southwest Pacific islands and promoting sustainable environmental policies.

  • Interests in biology and mathematics led him to Harvard College where he studied laboratory science
  • Appreciates music and languages, earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Cambridge
  • Became interested in the ecology and evolutionary biology of the Pacific islands on a trip to New Guinea in 1964
  • Published more than 600 articles and books
  • Recipient of the National Medal of Science, Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan’s Cosmo Prize, MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Lewis Thomas Prize Honoring the Scientist as Poet
  • Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society
  • Director of the World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International
  • Speaks 12 languages

Jared Diamond books
His 2012 release The World Until Yesterday investigates the reasons why and how the human race has evolved based on comparing the practices of traditional societies to those of a more modern, industrialized era.

In 2005, Diamond released the book Collapse, which attempts to understand why past societies have faded away and left behind wistful mysteries spiked by environmental factors.

Diamond’s exploration of the New Guinean lifestyle and ecosystems was the inspiration behind his 1997 best-selling book, Guns, Germs and Steel, which seeks to explain why the people of the Eurasian society developed ingredients of power and expanded around the world.

Published in 1991, Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzee book discusses how the human species has evolved from a large mammal to a world conqueror with fascinating anatomical details.