Jared diamond is professor of Physiology and Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an important academic, both in his own right and as a lightening rod for renewed debate over the merits and dangers of what is most commonly called environmental determinism. Jared Diamond was trained as a physiologist, but is well known for his ecological investigation of avian evolution in Papua-New Guinea and more recently for his work as an environmental scientist, historian, and geographer. He is probably most popularly known for his 1997 book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998. Both the arguments in the book and its success make it important for an understanding of contemporary environment–society relations.

The argument is simple: Diamond attributes ...

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