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May 2005

Interview with Jared Diamond published in World History Connected:

DIAMOND: Partly. I have lots of discussions with people in the social sciences, especially economists. And there are some groups of historians—environmental historians, economic historians, yes, and world historians who I talk to, yes. But conventional early 16th century Dutch historians? No.

Almost all scientists I know are interested in the humanities and social sciences. Many people in the humanities I know are not interested in science and are ignorant in science. This is something one sees more explicitly in the humanities-based publications like the New York Review of Books or the The New Yorker. The New Yorker does not publish articles by scientists.

WHC: I remember some years ago that The New Yorker published John McPhee’s series on California geology [later the basis for McPhee’s book Assembling California]. Was that just an exception?

DIAMOND: I don’t think of John McPhee as a scientist. The New Yorker publishes articles about science, but not by scientists.

WHC: Do you find that a problem?

DIAMOND: Yes, I find that a serious problem.

WHC: Why?

DIAMOND: Though the accounts of science that one reads in The New Yorker make good reading, they involve serious misunderstandings about science. I think I’ll stop at that point, because I don’t want to mention any names.

April 2008

Jared Diamond article “Vengeance is Ours” published in April 21, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.


Jared Diamond sued by subjects of error-filled article in The New Yorker.