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About the Author

Jared Mason Diamond is a physiologist, ecologist, and the author of several popular science books. Born in Boston in 1937, Diamond earned his B.A. at Harvard and his Ph.D. from Cambridge. A distinguished teacher and researcher, Diamond is well-known for the columns he contributes to the widely read show more magazines Natural History and Discover. Diamond's book The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal was heralded for its accessibility and for its blending of science and social science. The interdisciplinary Guns, Germs and Steel--Diamond's examination of the relationship between scientific technology and economic disparity--won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize. Diamond has won a McArthur Foundation Fellowship in addition to several smaller awards for his science and writing. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Jared Diamond

Natural Experiments of History (2010) — Editor — 136 copies
Community Ecology (1986) 9 copies
Seks Neden Keyiflidir (2016) 2 copies
Easter's End 1 copy
Inventer pour le XXIe siècle (2011) — Contributor — 1 copy

Associated Works

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) — Contributor — 802 copies
What Evolution Is (2001) — Foreword — 739 copies
The Best American Essays 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 291 copies
The New Humanists: Science at the Edge (2003) — Contributor — 230 copies
1000 Events That Shaped the World (2007) — Foreword — 121 copies
Guns, Germs, and Steel [2005 TV mini series] (2005) — Orignal book — 48 copies
The Living Bird: 100 Years of Listening to Nature (2015) — Contributor — 40 copies
Penguin Green Ideas Collection (2021) — Contributor — 11 copies


agriculture (129) anthropology (2,513) archaeology (228) biology (644) civilization (740) culture (415) disease (107) ebook (141) ecology (430) economics (251) environment (617) essay (94) essays (163) ethnology (153) evolution (1,054) geography (477) goodreads (111) history (5,554) human evolution (133) Jared Diamond (117) natural history (116) non-fiction (3,917) own (182) philosophy (104) politics (252) popular science (228) Pulitzer Prize (111) read (415) science (2,443) social evolution (192) social history (242) social science (248) society (418) sociology (1,275) technology (164) to-read (2,145) unread (302) wishlist (102) world (100) world history (675)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Diamond, Jared Mason
Other names
DIAMOND, Jared Mason
Country (for map)
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Roxbury Latin School
Harvard University (BA | 1958)
University of Cambridge (PhD | Physiology and Biophysics | 1961)
evolutionary biologist
Professor of Physiology
anthropologist (show all 9)
science writer
Cohen, Marie Nabel (wife)
Diamond, Josh (son)
Diamond, Max (son)
American Philosophical Society
World Wildlife Fund
University of California, Los Angeles
The Skeptics Society
Awards and honors
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
National Academy of Sciences
Lannan Literary Award (1999)
California Book Awards (1998)
Elliott Coues Award (1998)
Phi Beta Kappa Science Book Prize (1997) (show all 21)
Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science (2002)
Randi Award (1994)
Zoological Society of San Diego Conservation Medal (1993)
Los Angeles Times Science Book Prize (1992)
Tanner Lecturer (1992)
Archie Carr Medal (1989)
MacArthur Fellowship (1985)
Franklin L. Burr Award (1979)
Nathaniel Bowditch Prize (1976)
Kaiser Permanente/Golden Apple Teaching Award (1976)
Distinguished Achievement Award, 1975
Distinguished Teaching Award, 1972, 1973
Prize Fellowship, 1961
National Medal of Science (1999)
Kew International Medal, 2012
Short biography
Jared Diamond, professor of geography at the University of California at Los Angeles ... began his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography. [from Guns, Germs, and Steel (2005)]
JARED 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.




AUGUST - SPOILERS - Collapse in The Green Dragon (October 2014)


Interesting framework

This seems to me like am interesting framework from which to view history however I don't see how this information helps in looking at current times or the future. If environment and geography are ultimate causes how can those factors be changed? Does this mean that in a few thousand years poorer countries will become less poor as they become more acclimated to the factors rich countries have longer exposure too? Overall I found the book pretty dry and was put off by the numerous times the author accused competing theories as simply racist.… (more)
J3R3 | 375 other reviews | Apr 19, 2024 |
Top 10 books I read. Definitely in the list of books to carry to a desert island.
PedroCurtoSimoes | 375 other reviews | Apr 1, 2024 |
A compelling argument for interpretation of societies in relation to environmental change.
sfj2 | 375 other reviews | Mar 29, 2024 |
Around the world there are abandoned buildings and monuments of long-gone or greatly diminished human societies that evoke questions of what happened and why they aren’t around anymore. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed is the follow up Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel as he looks at how those societies rose and fell while also how they didn’t realize they were in trouble then how those lessons could help us today.

Diamond begins by defining collapse as “a drastic decrease in human population size and/or political/economic/social complexity, over a considerable area, for an extended time” then brings forth five significant factors—environmental changes, the effects of climate change, hostile neighbors, trade partners, and the society's response to the foregoing four challenges—to look at how they played into the demise historical civilizations. From the beginning it was obvious that Diamond was using Easter Island, the Classical Maya, the Greenland Norse, and many others as small-scale stand-ins for our globalized society that is facing the same challenges they did. However, Diamond is not all doom and gloom as he included various examples of societies—Norse Iceland, Tokugawa Japan, and Tikopia—that did make changes to save themselves. After all this Diamond looks at 12 challenges we face as today and “one-line objections” that are encountered when trying to solve them. Throughout the book Diamond can appear like a downer, but he ends on cautious optimism as he thinks we have the agility and the capacity to adopt practices favorable to our own survival while avoiding unfavorable ones. Overall, this book is an interesting read as a study of how historical civilizations dealt with changing conditions whether because of their own actions or of environmental factors beyond their control. While I appreciate Diamond’s look at historical civilizations to support his thesis, he isn’t a historian and as I’m not familiar with all the historical societies he cited I had to keep that in mind as he examined our globalized society.

Collapse is a book that looks towards historical societies’ relation with their environments and how it compares to our modern society. Jared Diamond’s cautious optimism is a high point, but there felt a lot of doom and gloom early on.
… (more)
mattries37315 | 182 other reviews | Mar 29, 2024 |


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