1. The world is filled with interesting things

I want to know, try, and discuss

Prof. Diamond was born in 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
His interest in the world started with two maps hanging on the wall of his father's room showing the progress of World War II. One was a map of Europe and the other was a map of Asia. Pondering these maps led young Jared to realize that the world is a big place.


His father was a pediatrician, and Jared wanted to follow in his footsteps to become a doctor as well. His mother was a talented pianist, linguist, and teacher. Little Jared started learning how to read and write when he was only three, and he started playing the piano when he was six.

Father and Mother

Father and Mother

When he was seven, he became interested in birds. His family spent summers in New England and New Hampshire, and he loved watching birds in the forests that covered the area. This early interest led Jared to research birds, and he has continued to be an avid bird watcher.
He also liked reading and stamp collecting. When he grew, his mothers influence encouraged an interest in languages. He studied Latin, Greek, French, and many more when he was a junior high and high school student. He also liked science and history.


Jared's interest was wide ranging, and encouragement from the adults around him expanded his curiosity about the world he lived in.
He is also fond of speaking in clear terms about what he has learned and experienced, and he was always talking about these with his younger sister. This trait would lead to him to write books.

The path to science

Jared took his Bachelor of Arts in Biochemical Science at Harvard University in 1958 and enrolled in graduate school at the University of Cambridge in the UK in 1959. Following graduation, he returned to Harvard to continue his research at the university's medical college.
He specialized in the human gall bladder. He chose to pursue research rather than medicine. He was sometimes depressed about setbacks in his research. However, with advice from his father and cooperation from people around him, he overcame his setbacks and gradually achieved good results.

He spent 11 years as a student in his undergraduate and graduate programs, and the four and a half years he spent at Cambridge in his early 20s allowed him to experience Europe for the first time. While there, he lived not only in England, but also in Germany.
While interacting with friends in England and Germany, Jared learned that there are many people whose lives were completely different from his. He was a child during World War II, but his home in the United States experienced none of the destruction that so much of Europe suffered. The friends he made in Europe had lived through bombings, being orphaned, and seeing their fathers being sent to concentration camps. Living in Europe helped Jared to realize that historical events can significantly influence peoples lives, and this increased his interest in history and geography.

In addition, Jared started camping during his university days, and became very interested in the environment. When he was 25, he went hiking in Peru with his friends and explored tropical rainforests along the Amazon River.
In the following year, he visited New Guinea for the first time. This visit changed his life significantly.

2. Attempt to learn the history of civilization


Prof. Jared Diamond