Dr. Lionel Tiger


It is the formidable character of the species to routinely seek the improbable, the difficult, even the impossible, as a source of pleasure and self-justification. Who would try to write poems, or novels, or paint pictures unless he is an optimist?  —Optimism: The Biology of Hope

Lionel Tiger is the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University. His title reflects his pioneering role in introducing biosocial data into the social sciences. Since the mid-1960's he has been deeply involved in bridging the gap between the natural and social sciences. He has asserted that the words used appear to imply that human social behavior is somehow not natural. But of course it is. Exploring how and why is Tiger's central adventure. As a teacher, writer of books and articles which have been widely published and translated and as co-Research Director of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, he has been an influential figure in broadening our knowledge about why we do what we do.

He combines his scientific expertise with a lively sense of humor to offer original, entertaining and informative lectures that challenge what is entrenched or fashionable, and move intellectually where others fear to tread. Currently he is focused on day care, young males, the pill, college demographics, the workforce, and the ways in which humans are becoming progressively more and more alienated from their biological roots.

A graduate of McGill University, the London School of Economics at the University of London, England, he is a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense on the future of biotechnology and the author of a new, controversial book The Decline of Males. Dr. Tiger, who developed the concept of "male bonding" in his classis study Men In Groups, has determined that women are in a trend to surpass men in economic, social and reproductive status - and that the cause of this seismic shift is not political or moral, but biological.

Responding to concerns about the relationship between organizations and their members in the next two decades, Dr. Tiger lectures on "Pleasure: The Carrot, The Stick and The Future of Employment." Pleasure is also the subject of his book: The Pursuit of Pleasure. In it, he argues that all our present pleasures can be traced to their functional, basically biological origins. We perceive and pursue pleasure because evolution actually programmed enjoyment into behaviors that are essential for survival.

His recent engagements include the International Association of Culinary Professionals on the pleasures of food and wine; a UNESCO-sponsored meeting on ethnic differences in Vienna; The Masters Forum sponsored by the Carlson School of Management, at the University of Minnesota on business ethics; the Kepner-Tregoe Business Conference addressing the cultural and social issues that will impact business organizations in the twenty-first century and The Lighthouse (NYC) on cultural aspects of sight impairment.

Dr. Tiger is also the author of the much-discussed books The Imperial Animal written with Robin Fox; Optimism: The Biology Of Hope, Female Hierarchies; Women in the Kibbutz; and The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution & the Industrial System. He lives in New York City.

A recent interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation discusses the work on pleasure.

A complete résumé is also available.


Selected Publications

Core Incompetencies
The Conference Board Review, 2007

Alcohol and Pleasure
Conference on Moderate Use of Alcohol Harvard Faculty Club, 2006

Fuzz. Fuzz...It Was Covered in Fuzz
Wall Street Journal, 2006

The Human Nature Project

The Bradley Lecture, 2002

The Apes of New York
Cybereditions, 2003

The Decline of Males
Golden Books 1999, St. Martins 2000

The Pursuit of Pleasure, 2nd Edition
Transaction Press 2000
[Reissued in French by Payot; Chinese edition has also appeared]

My Life in the Human Nature Wars
Lionel Tiger; 1998

The Pursuit of Pleasure
Little, Brown, Boston: Little Brown, (Toronto), 1992; additional publications 1992–1999

The Imperial Animal, 3rd Edition
1998, Transaction Press, New Brunswick and London, new introduction by the authors

Man and Beast Revisited, editor, with Michael Robinson
Director National Zoo, Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991

The Manufacture of Evil: Evolution, Ethics, and the Industrial System
Bessie Books/Harper and Row, New York 1987; Marion Boyars, London, 1991, paperback Marion Boyars/Rizzoli, NYC and London, 1991

The Imperial Animal, 2nd Edition
1989, Henry Holt; Shisakashu, New York and Tokyo; new introduction by the authors

Men in Groups, 2nd Edition
1987, Marion Boyars Publishers/Rizzoli, New York and London; new introduction by author; forward by Desmond Morris
[Third edition to appear in 2004 from Transaction Press.]

China’s Food
1985, photography by Reinhart Wolf, 6 foreign eds, inc. Flammarion, Thames and Hudson, Mondadori, Heine

Optimism: The Biology of Hope
Simon and Shuster, New York; Secker a Warburg London, 1979; reissued with new introduction, Kodansha, New York, 1995, new Forward by LT, Introduction by Frederick Turner

Female Hierarchies, editor
Aldine, Chicago

Women in the Kibbutz, with Joseph Shepher
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York; Penguin, London 1975. Shisakashu, Tokyo 1976

The Imperial Animal, with Robin Fox
1971, Introduction Konrad Lorenz, 9 foreign translations

Dominance in Human Societies
Lionel Tiger; 1970

Men in Groups
1969; 6 foreign translations

The Zoological Perspective in Social Science
Lionel Tiger & Robin Fox, 1966


When Tiger lectures, his interest in basic human nature permits him a robust base for informed contemporary commentary in various fields. He has spoken on a host of topics in a rich array of places - from, recently, the Pentagon Auditorium where he spoke about how new discoveries in the biosocial sciences should affect the Department of Defense to Millsaps College in Jackson Mississipi on the evolution of human sex roles to giving the W.E.B. DuBois Lecture on the links between natural and social science at Humboldt University in Berlin for the US Embassy. He has addressed the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California on the evolution of human behavior and its impact on organizations and spoken on the role and value of pleasure for the American Institute of Wine and Food at the National Press Club in Washington DC. He gave the opening address to the International Association of Culinary Professionals at their Annual Meeting in Chicago on social/ psychological factors in contemporary consumption of food.

In October 2003 he presented a paper, entitled, "Future Sex," at a conference, "The Next Thousand Years," at Rockefeller University, sponsored by its Program for the Human Environment. In August 2003 he gave a plenary address to the annual meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences in Philadelphia, entitled, "Is Defense Always Offensive; Adventures in the War Zone." In December 2002 he gave the Bradley Lecture at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington - "The Human Nature Project" - a review of how emerging work on genomics, neurophysiology, and comparative cultural anthropology may affect notions of human rights and needs. He gave a series of lectures at Universities in Slovakia in 2001 on the links between the natural and social sciences, and addressed the Board and senior management of the United Biscuit Company in England on the evolution of tastes in food and the impact of changes in families and social organization on how food is chosen, consumed, and enjoyed. He has lectured on the decline of males at the Universities of Vienna, San Francisco State, California at Santa Barbara, Arizona, Wayne State and Southern California in Los Angeles, among other places.

Among the universities where he has been asked to lecture are: Columbia, Moscow, Minnesota, Princeton, Penn State, Harvard, Max Planck Society in Bavaria, Johns Hopkins, The Kennedy School, Hydrabad and Jaipur in India, Hebrew, Tel Aviv and Haifa in Israel, Chicago, Smith College, Amsterdam, National Defense University Washington, Brown, McGill, Los Andes Bogata Colombia, Candido Mendes Rio de Janiero, Calgary, Michigan State, British Columbia, University of California, Berkeley and Los Angeles, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Paris, The New School New York, The Army War College, Dartmouth College, Alberta, Instituto Scientifico H. San Raffaele Milan, the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Over the years he has lectured to dozens of companies and organizations such as IBM, Pfizer, the Aspen Institute, United Nations Program on Drug Abuse Vienna, the Upjohn Company, the Russian Academy of Management in Moscow, Yale Law School, the Lockheed Corporation, Planned Parenthood of New York, the Brunswick Corporation, The Harvard Business Review, and Johnson and Johnson on social factors affecting the successful conduct of business and social service. Recent audiences were the Scientific Advisory Board of the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, and the Century Association in New York where his subject was "Is Defense Always Offensive? Adventures in the War Zone" and the management staff of the Rutgers University Health Services on the impact on male students of current developments in sex roles among men and women.



Lionel Tiger has served as a consultant to a variety of institutions and companies. He has been an expert witness in trials involving murder and injury as a result of initiations at colleges, among others. He has advised law firms and businesses concerned with sexual harassment issues and architectural and industrial design firms on the behavioral consequences of choices made by planners and designers.

He has been a consultant to the Director of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense on issues ranging from the role of cognition in affecting behavioral choices and the effect of such stimuli as drugs, fatigue, loneliness, sexuality, and morale on the conduct of individuals and organizations. He chaired a Study Session at the Naval War College in Newport RI for the Director of Net Assessment and the Secretary of the Air Force on the impact of new biosocial research on military issues. He has advised entities such as Upjohn (now Pharmacia), the Revlon Corporation, J. Walter Thompson, the Sawyer-Miller Group, the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, and the Science Advisory Board of the Secretary of the Air Force. He was a member of a task force established by the Secretary to analyze terrorism in the context of asymmetric warfare. He has consulted for Booz, Allen, and Hamilton as well as the Canadian Management Association and chaired a Board of Advisors for the magazine US NEWS and WORLD REPORT. He is currently a Senior Research Consultant to the National Institute of Public Policy in Fairfax VA on a project evaluating forms of military and political deterrence in the contemporary context.

In a more public realm, he has appeared on dozens of television and radio programs, including among others NPR, Charlie Rose, Nightline, the Today Show, the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CNN, and PBS as well as local shows in many cities in the USA, Canada, and Europe. He has been interviewed frequently and cited in a generous array of publications ranging from the New York Times to Rolling Stone, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Financial Times, New York Magazine, Men's Health, Business Week, Fortune, Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, the Observer of London, La Republica in Italy, and L'Express in France