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spacerLaura 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 and Canada, the Netherlands and the UK; and 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, Worth and US News & World Report. She's contributed to the Annual Question at Edge, and 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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