Sapolsky’s talk begins at 5:00 after an introduction by the Stanford Provost.
The neuroendocrinologist and primatologist Robert Sapolsky has been one of my primary scientific influences and the reason I pursued my masters and PhD in primate behavior and evolution. Not only is he a brilliant researcher and writer, he’s also a genuinely kind and supportive guy. Back in 2001, as an undergraduate, I wrote what was then my first fan letter to a neuroscientist. To my surprise he wrote back and we had an ongoing correspondence. He even recommended a piece of writing I had sent him to his editor at Discover magazine. That piece formed the basis for my article The Biology of Humor. This marked the beginning of my professional writing career and I will always remain grateful for his support.
Now that I am pursuing a career as a historian of evolutionary science, rather than a practicing scientist, I have never lost the joy of reading or listening to Sapolsky’s inspiring vision of the human species. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee or a beer and enjoy a wonderful talk on what it means to be human.