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Jared Diamond lecturing in Auckland

Media release
1 September 2006

Jared Diamond lecturing in Auckland

Jared Diamond, an eminent American academic who has taken science and human global history to a huge popular readership, will speak in Auckland later this month.

He is giving the Sir Douglas Robb Lectures at The University of Auckland on the theme “Science, history and human societies” (20, 21, 22 September, 7pm, Lecture Theatre B28, Library Basement, 5 Alfred Street).

Jared Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Initially he trained in physiology and membrane biophysics.

He has pursued a parallel career in ecology and evolutionary biology, making 21 expeditions to study the birds of New Guinea and other tropical southwest Pacific islands. This he has combined with practical efforts to stem the accelerating disappearance of the world’s biodiversity.

More recently he has focused on global human history. His Guns, Germs, and Steel, translated into 25 languages, asks why the evolution of human societies over the last 13,000 years proceeded so differently in Eurasia, the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa and Australia.

In his latest book Collapse, published in 2005, he asks why some societies flourish while others flounder. Environmental crises, mostly self-induced, have destroyed many cultures, he reveals, and our own is vulnerable.

For the past 30 years Jared Diamond has devoted much of his time to popular science writing to help the general public understand important scientific issues. His book The Third Chimpanzee, a popular account of human evolution and human nature, was translated into 18 languages.

His individual lectures are entitled “Continental differences in human history” (the subject of Guns, Germs, and Steel), “Collapses of past societies, and their lessons for today” (tying in directly with Collapse) and “The reappraisals of values by individuals and groups”. Full details are at www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/about/events/publiclectures.cfm.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

ENDS

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