Professor of Geography and of Environmental Health Sciences, Pulitzer-prize winner, Author of Guns, Germs and Steel
Jared Diamond is the epitome of a celebrity scientist—a Pulitzer Prize winner, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and one of the world’s Top 10 Public Intellectuals (Foreign Policy). He also uniquely addresses our world in crisis—the pandemic, natural disasters, political polarization, and more—in his eloquent writing. His series of books that began with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel is “one of the most significant projects embarked upon by any intellectual of our generation” (The New York Times). Diamond shows how we can learn from the lessons of past civilizations to thrive during times of crisis—not only individually, but together.
In his blockbusters Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise, thrive, or fall. Now in Upheaval—which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list—he shows how successful nations recover from crisis through selective change: a coping mechanism more commonly associated with personal trauma. His keynotes take audiences on a journey through some of the most profound evolutionary questions of our time: why do some societies prosper while others die? And what can we learn from the collective history of every human society? Focusing on how we can improve contemporary society by learning from the past, Diamond’s message is both urgent and persuasive.
Guns, Germs, and Steel (adapted into a hit three-part documentary by the National Geographic Society and broadcast on PBS) explained how the gaps in power and technology between human societies originate primarily in environmental differences. The follow-up, Collapse, examined a range of past societies to identify why they either collapsed or continued to thrive. In Upheaval, Diamond reveals how both nations and individuals can become more resilient—a narrative both epic and groundbreaking. In suite with the first two titles in series, Upheaval inspires a new talk that adds psychological dimension to the awe-inspiring grasp of history, geography, economics, and anthropology that marks all of Diamond’s work. Bill Gates calls it one of his Top 5 Summer Books, saying that “[Diamond] reminds us that some countries have creatively solved their biggest problems … showing that there’s a path through crisis and that we can choose to take it.”
Currently a professor of Geography at UCLA, Diamond is also the author of the internationally bestselling books The World Until Yesterday, and The Third Chimpanzee. He has received some of the world’s most prestigious awards, including a MacArthur Genius Award, the Dickson Prize in Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the National Medal of Science, America’s highest civilian award in science. Foreign Policy has named him one of the world’s top 10 public intellectuals.