Scott Atran

Scott Atran is an anthropologist and psychologist who studies how cognitive and biological dispositions, and cultural preferences and values, shape social structures and political systems and drive group conflict. He is co-founder of Artis International and the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at the University of Oxford; Research Professor at the University of Michigan’s Gerald Ford School of Public Policy; Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Changing Character of War Centre; Emeritus Director of Research at France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique; and advisor to the UN Security Council on counterterrorism and issues of Youth, Peace, and Security. His work and life have been spotlighted on television, radio, internet blogs and podcasts, and in the popular and scientific press, including feature and cover stories of the New York Times MagazineThe Chronicle of Higher EducationNature and Science.

Recent Posts

April 20, 2020 in Health

Pandemic: A Global Opportunity for National Renewal or Deterioration

Pandemics spread among human populations because the viruses and bacteria that cause them exploit a key evolutionary asset of the human species: our unique pro-social nature.
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June 13, 2013 in Religion

Here He Goes Again: Sam Harris’s Falsehoods

An intellectual debate about the nature of religious belief and violence. Anthropologist Scott Atran responds to New Atheist Sam Harris.Harris’s views on religion ignore the considerable progress in cognitive studies…
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November 10, 2012 in Politics

Steven Pinker and His Critics: Is the Long Peace a “Statistical Illusion”?

Scholars continue to debate the Decline of Violence thesis. The latest critique is offered by Nassim Taleb; Pinker responds.
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