The Power of Choice
Why do humans make decisions the way they do? And what does that mean in the context of the current threats to our species’ survival? Daniel McFadden, the 2000 Laureate in Economics Studies, whose work focuses on how people make choices and sort themselves into groups, will discuss questions of human choice and their repercussions with Nat Geo Explorer-in-Residence Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the bestseller Collapse, which analyzed the phenomenon of societal failure. The conversation will be moderated by National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson.
Jared DiamondJared Diamond is professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, which won him a Pulitzer Prize as well as Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.
Diamond is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (Genius Award); research prizes and grants from the American Physiological Society, National Geographic Society, and Zoological Society of San Diego; and many teaching awards and endowed public lectureships. In addition, he has been elected a member of all three of the leading national scientific/academic honorary societies—National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Philosophical Society.
Diamond's field experience includes 22 expeditions to New Guinea and neighboring islands to study ecology and evolution of birds; the rediscovery of New Guinea's long-lost golden fronted bowerbird; and other field projects in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. As a conservationist, he devised a comprehensive plan, almost all of which was implemented, for Indonesian New Guinea's national park system. He has also taken part in numerous field projects for the Indonesian government and World Wildlife Fund. He is a founding member of the board of the Society of Conservation Biology and a member of the board of directors of World Wildlife Fund/USA and Conservation International.
Daniel McFaddenDaniel Little McFadden is an econometrician who shared the 2000 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with James Heckman. McFadden's share of the prize was "for his development of theory and methods for analyzing discrete choice". He was the E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.
In January 2011, Dr. McFadden was appointed the Presidential Professor of Health Economics at theUniversity of Southern California (USC), and the announcement of this appointment was published on January 10, 2011. Professor McFadden will have joint appointments at the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the Department of Economics at USC College to examine fundamental problems facing the health care sector, looking specifically at how consumers make choices about health insurance and medical services.