June 27, 2008 · 6:00 PM
World Affairs Council
Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother?s Boyfriend
with Barbara Oakley
Hosted by The Center For Inquiry | San Francisco
Prompted by clues in her sinister sister?s diary, author Barbara Oakley takes the reader inside the heads of history's truly malevolent characters. Using a mixture of psychology and cutting-edge brain imaging, Oakley provides strong evidence that the behavior of 'evil' people is the result of variations in brain function. In fact, some deceitful, manipulative, and even sadistic behavior appears to be programmed genetically and may even be selectively beneficial under certain conditions. We may not like them - but we literally can?t live without 'Evil Genes'.
Oakley deftly ties together the big picture implications of revolutionary neuroscientific and genetic discoveries, showing the eerily similar behavioral tics of Mao, Stalin, Hitler, and Slobodan Milosevic. The dramatic recent scientific findings presented in Evil Genes shed light not only on dictators far afield, but on politics at home, as well as business, religion, and everyday life. Evil Genes brilliantly melds scientific research with intriguing family history and puts both a human and scientific face to evil.
Dubbed a female Indiana Jones, Barbara Oakley's writings combine worldwide adventure with solid research expertise. She has worked as a Russian translator on Soviet trawlers in the Bering Sea; served as radio operator at the South Pole Station in Antarctica; and aquired the rank of captain in the U.S. Army. Currently an associate professor of engineering at Oakland University in Michigan, Oakley is a recent VP of the world?s largest bioengineering society and holds a Doctorate in the integrative discipline of Systems Engineering. Evil Genes is her latest book published by Prometheus.
Admission is $10
Free to Friends of the Center
Dinner with the speaker will follow the program at Cafe Bastille