Jared Diamond life and biography

Jared Diamond picture, image, poster

Jared Diamond biography

Date of birth : 1937-09-10
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-21
Credited as : scientist, Author, The Third Chimpanzee award-winning book

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Jared Mason Diamond (born September 10, 1937) is an American scientist and author whose work draws from a variety of fields. He is currently Professor of Geography and Physiology at UCLA. He is best known for his award-winning popular science books The Third Chimpanzee, Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

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.

On 21 April 2009, Henep Isum Mandingo and Hup Daniel Wemp of Papua New Guinea filed a $10 million USD defamation lawsuit against Diamond over a 2008 New Yorker magazine article entitled "Vengeance Is Ours: What Can Tribal Societies Tell Us About Our Need to Get Even?" The article is an account of feuds and vengeance killings among tribes in the New Guinea highlands which Mandingo and Wemp claim have been misrepresented and embellished by Diamond.
The lawsuit came in the wake of an investigation by Rhonda Roland Shearer which alleged factual inaccuracies in the article, most notably that Mandingo, the alleged target of the feud who was said to have been rendered wheelchair-bound in the fighting recounted by Diamond, is fit and healthy.

Diamond and the New Yorker stand by the article. They maintain that it is a faithful account of the story related to Diamond by Wemp while they worked together in 2001 and in a formal interview in 2006, based on "detailed notes", and that both Diamond and the magazine did all they reasonably could to verify the story. Furthermore they claim that in a taped phone interview conducted in August 2008 between Daniel Wemp and Chris Jennings, a fact checker for the New Yorker, Wemp failed to raise any significant objections. Wemp contends he told Jennings the story was "inaccurate, inaccurate".Anthropologist Pauline Wiessner, an expert on tribal warfare in Papua New Guinea, points out that young men often exaggerate or make up entirely their exploits in tribal warfare, and that Diamond would be naïve to accept and publish Wemp's stories at face value.

Author of books:
-Community Ecology (1986, with Ted J. Case)
-The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (1992)
-Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (1997)
-Why is Sex Fun?: The Evolution of Human Sexuality (1997)
-The Birds of Northern Melanesia (2001, with Ernst Mayr)
-Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2004)
-Natural Experiments of History (2010, with James A. Robinson)

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