Associate Professor Jesse Bering
Head of Department

Associate Professor

Tel 64 3 471 6147
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Jesse Bering is an award-winning science writer specializing in evolutionary psychology and human behavior. His “Bering in Mind” column at Scientific American was a 2010 Webby Award Honoree for the Blog-Cultural category by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Bering’s first book, The Belief Instinct (2011), was included on the American Library Association’s Top 25 Books of the Year. This was followed by a collection of his previously published essays, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? (2012), and Perv (2013), a taboo-breaking work that received widespread critical acclaim and was named as a New York Times Editor’s Choice. All three books have been translated into many different languages.

Bering and his work have been featured on numerous documentaries, TV shows, and radio programs, including Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, Conan, Chelsea Lately, Q&A (Australia), NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and the BBC. He has written for Slate, The Guardian, The New York Times, Discover, The Chicago Tribune, The New Republic, Vice and many others. Several of his science-writing projects have sold for option rights to major television and film producers in the United States.

An experimental psychologist by training, Bering's early research was in the cognitive science of religion, and he has published extensively in that field. He began his career at the University of Arkansas as an Assistant Professor of Psychology (2002-2006). He then served as the Director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at the Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he was a Reader in the School of History and Anthropology (2006-2011). Presently, he is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

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