Convocation explores the causes of stress and its effects on our bodies

April 20, 2018

Author and neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky will present Carleton’s weekly convocation on Friday, April 27, exploring the causes of stress and its effects on the human body. In his presentation, “Why Zebra Don’t Get Ulcers: Stress and Disease,” Sapolsky will uncover scientific insight into how our bodies respond to stress and provide broad outlines for stress management.

Carleton convocations are held from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m. on Friday mornings in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. They are also recorded and archived for online viewing.

A renowned author and neuroendocrinologist, Sapolsky is currently the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor at Stanford University, holding joint appointments in several departments, including biological sciences, neurology & neurological sciences, and neurosurgery. Each year, he also spends time in Kenya, where he serves as a research associate for the National Museums of Kenya, studying a population of wild baboons in order to identify the sources of stress in their environment, and the relationship between personality and patterns in stress-related disease in these animals.

Sapolsky’s work has been featured widely in the press, most notably in the National Geographic documentary, “Stress: Portrait of a Killer,” along with numerous podcasts and articles in the New York Times, Wired Magazine, Radiolab and others. His work in primatology and neuroscience has yielded him prominence and authority in discussions around mental health, human relationships, and their connection to biological evolution. He is the author of several books including “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” (Holt, 1994), “Stress, the Aging Brain, and the Mechanisms of Neuron Death” (MIT Press, 1992), “A Primate’s Memoir” (Touchstone, 2002) and most recently, “Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst” (Penguin Press, 2017).

Sapolsky has received numerous awards for his work, including the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship Genius Grant, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and the Klingenstein Fellowship in Neuroscience. He was awarded the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award and the Young Investigatory of the Year Award from the Society for Neuroscience, the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology, and the Biological Psychiatry Society. In 2007 he received the John P. McGovern Award for Behavioral Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2008 received the Wonderfest’s Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located at First and College Streets in Northfield.