“If you spend enough time around something like baboons, you start to look at humans differently
. For example, you find yourself paying a whole lot of attention to other guys and how big their canines are, thinking comparatively, or you look at somebody’s rump and you wonder how hard it would be to anesthetize them with a blowgun dart there.” Please allow me to introduce you to Robert Sapolsky
, primatologist, neurobiologist, writer, teacher, world-renowned expert on stress and friend to baboons
Even if you think you don't care about baboons, or stress, or toxoplasmosis or neurobiology, you might be surprised by how much you can learn from MacArthur Fellowship genius grant recipient Robert Sapolsky, who delivers his hard-earned scientific knowledge with wit, insight and wild hair.
* A treasure-trove of lectures on Biology and Human Behavior
* YT: On Depression in U.S.
* Edge.org: A BOZO OF A BABOON: A Talk with Robert Sapolsky
* Edge.org: TOXO
-- "If you're ever pregnant, if you're ever around anyone who's pregnant, you know you immediately get skittish about cat feces, cat bedding, cat everything, because it could carry Toxo. And you do not want to get Toxoplasma into a fetal nervous system. It's a disaster."
* Google Video: 'Stress, Neurodegeneration and Individual Differences'
* From NIMH: "Stress in the Animal Kingdom: What We Can Learn"
* PBS/National Geographic: Killer Stress
(check your library; more here
and two free podcasts--"Stress and Coping: What Baboons Can Teach Us" and "Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers"--here
* "Biology and Belief"
: "An excerpt of the "Emperor Has No Clothes Award" acceptance speech delivered at the 25th annual Freedom From Religion Foundation convention." Related podcast: "Robert Sapolsky - "Hellbound Atheist" & Scientist"
(interview begins at 13:00)
If you'd prefer to sit down and read, try "A Primate's Memoir"
(delightful, funny, sad, well-written; joyous, outrage-inducing); "The Trouble With Testosterone and Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament"
; and "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: A Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases and Coping."
(Previously: Primate Peace
; The Neurobiology of Primate Sexuality
; the uniqueness of humans
; and What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?
[Sapolsky's answer here