Scott Atran Ph.D.

Scott Atran, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Michigan. He researches the following areas: cognitive and linguistic anthropology, ethnobiology, environmental decision making, categorization and reasoning, evolutionary psychology, anthropology of science (history and philosophy of natural history and natural philosophy); Middle East ethnography and political economy, among other topics. Atran also serves as Adjunct Research Scientist at the Research Center for Group Dynamics; Adjunct Professor for the School of Natural Resources & Environment; Associate Research Scientist for the Anthropology Department; and Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris. In his quest to understand what makes people kill and die for a cause, Atran has met with the Hamas high command in Damascus, Syria, interviewed the plotters behind the 2002 Bali bombing, unpacked the web of connections behind the 9/11 and 2004 Madrid train attacks and been forced to flee for his life from militants in Indonesia and Pakistan unsettled by his probings.

Author of

In Gods We Trust

Touring the psyche from cognitive anthropology to political economy, and more. Read now.

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