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Andrea Ciccarelli
Director, College Arts & Humanities Institute

Last modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2008

MacArthur Genius Fellow Robert Sapolsky to visit IU

February 13, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Robert Sapolsky, a renowned neuroscientist, author and a MacArthur Foundation Genius Fellow, will visit Indiana University to give a talk, "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers." The lecture is scheduled for March 3, at 5 p.m. in the Chemistry Building, Room 122, on the Bloomington campus.

Robert Sapolsky

Robert Sapolsky

Print-Quality Photo

Sapolsky, a professor of biological sciences and neurology at Stanford University, is the author of several books which are considered to be among the most accessible recent works by science writers. They include The Trouble with Testosterone, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, and Monkeyluv and Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals.

Sapolsky is an expert in the development of stress-related diseases, and his talk will focus on how other animals respond to stress differently from humans, and what we can learn from such species as the zebra to reduce the harmful effects of stress in our own lives.

From his experience with a troop of African baboons, Sapolksy learned much about the causes and consequences of stress. He also became adept at shooting anesthetic darts with a blow-gun in order to get close to the irrascible animals. His 2001 book A Primate's Memoir was reviewed in Newsday where it was praised as flowing "like a well-paced and finely crafted novel . . . [giving] us a cast of characters as memorably colorful as any that Dickens ever created."

Award-winning neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks has praised Sapolsky as "one of the best scientist-writers of our time, able to deal with the weightiest topics both authoritatively and wittily, with so light a touch they become accessible to all."

Robert Sapolsky comes to Bloomington as a guest of IU's College Arts and Humanities Institute.

"Dr. Sapolsky is a vibrant speaker who combines intellectual insight and neurological expertise with wit and humanity as he explores the condition we find ourselves in so often in modern life -- stress," said Andrea Ciccarelli, director of the institute and professor of Italian.

Sapolsky's talk will be followed by a book signing and reception in the Frangipani Room. The Indiana Memorial Union is located at 900 E. Seventh St., and the Frangipani Room is on the Mezzanine Level. The event is free and open to the public, and parking is available in the IMU lot. The IU Dean of the Faculties and Office of the Provost are co-sponsoring the lecture. For more information, please see