In the Western world we are more comfortable than ever before. So why aren't we happier or healthier? Spencer Wells uses the latest research to show the answer lies in our hunter-gatherer roots. Settling 10,000 years ago may have led to modern civilization, but it also opened a Pandora's box: everything from our sweet tooth to stress, environmental problems and terrorism can be usefully traced back to the mismatch between genes and lifestyle. On a globe-trotting journey, Wells illustrates how we can learn from our ancestors how to thrive in the future.
Spencer Wells is a leading population geneticist, documentary filmmaker and author of "The Journey of Man" and "Deep Ancestry". He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1994 and conducted his post-doctoral training with Luca Cavalli-Sforza at Stanford University. His landmark research findings from a field study that encompassed 25,000 miles of Asia and the former Soviet republics led to advances in the understanding of the male Y chromosome and its ability to trace ancestral human migration. He was previously director of the Population Genetics Research Group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford and was recently appointed Frank H.T. Rhodes Visiting Professor at Cornell University. Wells is currently National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and spearheads the Genographic Project. He lives with his wife, a documentary filmmaker, in Washington, DC.
Spencer Wells - explorer, geneticist, geographer and author - takes us on an exciting tour of the last 10,000 years of our history in order to forewarn us of what we shall have to deal with in the next 50 years
- Jared Diamond, author of "Guns, Germs and Steel" and "Collapse"
"Spencer Wells's writing combines a deep knowledge of the history of human evolution with a most engaging and lively manner of making that story come alive"
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
- The Independent
"Stimulating and enjoyable"
- Financial Times
"Civilization is the problem, not the solution...An urgent call for global cultural reform."
- The Times