The University of Queensland, in partnership with Brisbane’s Better Bookshops, recently played host to a book launch and public lecture from visionary prize-winning author, Professor Jared Diamond.
The lecture, which took place on Tuesday, 19 February, discussed material from Professor Diamond’s latest novel, The World Until Yesterday: What We Can Learn From Traditional Societies - an epic and ground breaking journey into our rapidly receding past.
Drawing extensively on his decades of working in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, Professor Diamond unearthed remarkable findings, from the reason why modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's are virtually non-existent in tribal societies, to the surprising benefits of multilingualism.
Professor Diamond from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a long-time colleague and friend of Professor Marshall Weisler, an archaeologist from UQ’s School of Social Science.
Professor Weisler said it was a great honour to have Professor Diamond present at UQ.
“Jared has changed the way we view history and human nature, his research is amongst the most highly regarded in the world," Professor Weisler said.
“The World Until Yesterday takes a fascinating look into how tribal societies approach essential human problems, from child-rearing to conflict resolution to health.
“Those who attended the lecture were taken on an insightful journey into our past and discovered that we have much to learn from traditional ways of life."
Professor Diamond is also the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the million-copy-bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of TIME's best non-fiction books of all time, and Collapse, a number one international bestseller.
A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond's work has been influential in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history, among others.
Media: Helen Burdon, SBS Faculty Marketing and Communications, 3346 9279,
More about the book
Panoramic in scope and thrillingly original, The World Until Yesterday provides an enthralling first-hand picture of the human past. Containing 11 chapters grouped into five parts, Professor Diamond begins by setting the stage on which the topics of the remaining chapters play out, by explaining how traditional societies divide space. Each part takes the reader through a range of studies from dispute resolution, to the treatment of the elderly, to dangers and our responses to them, suggesting profound lessons for how to live well today.