I thought this was a great opportunity to hear from one of the great minds of my lifetime. I will remember this event far into the future. -- Ellie Rohan '11
I really appreciated that I was able to go at no cost and with provided transportation. I really enjoyed Diamond's book "Collapse," and it was a great opportunity to see him in person and hear his unscripted ideas. -- Elizabeth Erickson '11
I found the opportunity to see Dr. Diamond truly exceptional. He is an internationally renowned scientist and artist, and I was really pleased to simply have the opportunity. Diamond absolutely delivered-- his talk was extremely engaging and his breadth of knowledge is remarkable. Eli Wade-Scott '11
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Guns, Germs and Steel," was the keynote speaker at the seventh annual Coe College Contemporary Issues Forum on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Cedar Rapids. Seventy Cornell students were in attendance for his lecture.
Currently a professor of geography at UCLA, Diamond earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1958 and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1961. He is the recipient of more than two dozen major awards, including the MacArthur Foundation genius grant. In 1999, President Clinton bestowed America's highest civilian award in science, The National Medal of Science, to Diamond for his landmark research and breakthrough discoveries in evolutionary biology. In 2001, he was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, in recognition of his tremendous contributions to the field of conservation biology.
Diamond has expertise in multiple disciplines including ecology and environmental issues. Author of several best selling books, Diamond's interests range from environmental history through evolutionary biology to molecular biology. With "Guns, Germs, and Steel," Diamond explains the environmental and geographic reasons why certain human populations have flourished. In his newest book, "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," Diamond discusses why ancient societies, including the Viking colonies of Greenland, as well as modern ones, such as Rwanda, have fallen apart. Diamond asserts these social collapses were due in part to the same environmental problems that beset us today. Diamond's body of work has also been the subject of a PBS special, "Great Minds of Science: Evolution." He is also the author of numerous articles, including "What's Your Consumption Factor?", that was published as a guest opinion in the New York Times in January 2008.