Pulitzer-prize winning scientist and author Jared Diamond discussed his work and his iconoclastic book, Guns, Germs and Steel. Why did Europe and the Near East develop into the cradle of modern society? Why, until relatively recently, were civilizations in those two areas ascendant over those in Africa, Australasia, and the Americas? Professor Diamond offered an explanation that discounts racial factors: ‘History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among people’s environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves’. In the book, Diamond examines 13,000 years of human history and finds that climate, floral diversity and the size and location of continents were the greatest influencers of social and economic development through the world. Guns, Germs and Steel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1998.
Jared Diamond’s TED talk, “Why societies collapse”:
Moderator: Prof. Dr. Maarten van Rossum
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