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UnDisciplined: The Cultural Anthropologist And The Population Health Analyst

We're talking about the ways warfare can build bonds in tribal societies, and how air pollution can have devastating effects in our modern world. 

We're joined first by Shane MacFarlan, who studies the ecology of cooperation and conflict in small-scale societies at the University of Utah. Joining us also is Claire Leiser, a Utah native who is now a research analyst at the Utah Population Database at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. 

Each week on UnDisciplined, we bring together two researchers from different fields of study to tell us about their latest findings.

Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling Lifespan with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, Superlative, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.