In his work, Diamond combines anthropology, history, sociology, and evolutionary biology to contrast a way of life that is starkly different from how we live today. This comparison provides us with lessons from the past that we can apply to our future to improve contemporary society. Diamond—a professor of geography at UCLA—has won numerous awards for his work including the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan’s Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Prize: Honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by the Rockefeller University.
His previous books, Guns, Germs, and Steel (which won the Pulitzer) and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, were cited by the New York Times as “one of the most significant projects embarked upon by any intellectual in our generation.” His writing and speeches cover some of the most pressing and sweeping questions in science, and in society. His talks are comprehensive, intriguing, and help us understand where we came from, how we got to where we are today, and where we are headed in the future.