Laura Betzig

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Laura Betzig studies despotism and democracy in history. She's looked at the cross cultural record; done fieldwork in Micronesia on Ifaluk and Yap; and read ancient, medieval, and modern history. She's published close to a hundred scientific and scholarly articles, and 3 books: Despotism and Differential Reproduction: A Darwinian View of History; Human Reproductive Behavior: A Darwinian Perspective; and Human Nature: A Critical Reader. She's spent the last couple of decades working on a history of the West.

Betzig has a B.A. from the University of Michigan in psychology, ancient tabletsand a Ph.D. in anthropology from Northwestern University. She's held research and teaching positions at Northwestern, the University of California and the University of Michigan in anthropology, psychology and zoology; and has lectured in departments of anthropology, biology, economics, philosophy, psychology and medieval history. She's done TV in the US, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK. Her work has been written up in newspapers and magazines like Time, The Economist, The Washington Post, New Scientist, Smithsonian, Slate, Politico, The Atlantic, Discover and Worth; and she blogs on "The Political Animal: Human History as Natural History" for Psychology Today.

Laura's daughter Alexa, MIT '07, Harvard '11, develops targeted cancer therapies for a biotech in Cambridge; Her son Max, Carnegie Mellon '11, led his soccer team to consecutive NCAA tournament berths, and now works in a Chicago bank. She and her husband, MD and anthropologist Paul Turke, live together near Ann Arbor, on Strawberry Lake.



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