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Nations experience crises, whose solution requires adopting selective changes, and which some nations are more successful at solving than are other nations. We as individuals also experience personal crises, either associated with certain ages (e.g., teen-age or midlife crises) or else triggered by external shocks (e.g., relationship problems or break-ups, the death of a loved one, or a health or job or financial blow). The solution of a personal crisis also requires adopting selective changes, which some of us are more successful at accomplishing than are others of us. Counselors and psychotherapists have identified many factors that make it more or less likely that an individual will overcome a personal crisis. In this lecture, Dr. Diamond will examine the extent to which similar considerations help understand the outcomes of recent and impending national crises, and the impending world crisis.
Jared Diamond is a Pulitzer-prize-winning author of five best-selling books, translated into 38 languages, about human societies and human evolution: Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, Why Is Sex Fun?, The Third Chimpanzee, and The World until Yesterday. As a Professor of Geography at the University of California at Los Angeles, he is known for his breadth of interests, which involves conducting research and teaching in three other fields: the biology of New Guinea birds, digestive physiology, and conservation biology. Dr. Diamond’s prizes and honors include the U.S. National Medal of Science, the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Science, and election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is a director of World Wildlife Fund/U.S. and of Conservation International. As a biological explorer, his most widely publicized finding was his rediscovery, at the top of New Guinea’s remote Foja Mountains, of the long-lost Golden-fronted Bowerbird, previously known only from four specimens found in a Paris feather shop in 1895.