Science that inspires: Robert Sapolsky

Robert Sapolsky has been studying for decades the causes of stress as well as its effects on our bodies.  He is  a doing a fantastic job at sharing with us very valuable insights about ourselves in a way that is quite accessible.  Extremely well-spoken person and truly inspiring.

If you’re interested in the science behind the universal human ailment of stress, don’t miss to read his most famous book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.

Robert Maurice Sapolsky (born 1957) is an American scientist and author. He is currently professor of Biological Sciences, and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and by courtesy, Neurosurgery, at Stanford University.

3 replies
  1. Scott says:

    I began working my way through ‘Zebras’ over Christmas break…which I thought would be a useful but dry source of knowledge. However, so far it is both quite readable and fascinating. Good stuff!

  2. John says:

    Really fascinating videos; especially the second lecture. It’s funny though, and I’m interested in other’s opinions, that I don’t actually feel “inspired” in the sense that our connection to other primates is somehow beautiful.

    I suppose I always found our differences with other animal groups to be existentially more fulfilling. For example, to learn that the chimpanzees form border patrol teams mimicking the Minutemen, ready to beat down the next Curious George really just reminds me that us animals are all a bunch of raging savages confined by social norms.

    I think the fact that animals feel empathy, express self-knowlege etc and still commit extraodinary acts of violence and aggression raises all sorts of strange questions about our true nature. As in, when we watch primate commit random acts of murder, we are watching the “True” version of ourselves – as in, violence is as natural as empathy. I’m not making a judgement on any of this, just to say it’s interesting if not a bit depressing.

  3. Anthony Landreth says:

    Sapolsky is also featured in National Geographic’s documentary on stress (Stress: Portrait of a Killer), which can be watched instantly on NetFlix. Monkey Luv is a fun read too.


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