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.