Helen E. Fisher, Ph.D.

Helen Fisher

Helen Fisher is a Research Professor and member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. From 1984 to 1994 she was Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at The American Museum of Natural History. She received her PhD in Physical Anthropology at the University of Colorado with a dissertation on the evolution of human female sexuality and the origin of the nuclear family.

WHY HIM? WHY HER? How to find and keep lasting love (Jan 2009, Henry Holt; paperback 2010) discusses Fisher's biological theories for why people with specific chemical profiles are attracted to one another. The book stems from her current work as Scientific Advisor to Chemistry.com, a division of Match.com. Her data and ideas are based on her analysis of four biologically-based personality dimensions in 40,000 people and patterns of attraction among 28,000 individuals, as well as data from genetics, neurochemistry and personality studies. It has 11 foreign language editions.

WHY WE LOVE: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love (Henry Holt, 2004; paperback 2005) discusses her research projects with colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and SUNY Stony Brook in which she uses fMRI brain scanning to investigate the brain circuitry of romantic love, a primary mating drive. It also discusses her research on animal attraction, the other primary mating drives (lust and attachment), romantic rejection, love at first sight, and controlling love. It was a selection of the Scientific American Book Club; the Discovery Channel Book Club; and a Main Selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club. It has 16 foreign language editions.

THE FIRST SEX: The Natural Talents of Women and How They are Changing the World (Random House 1999 ; Ballantine Paperbacks 2000) discusses gender differences in the brain and behavior and the impact of women on 21st century business, sex and family life. It has 13 foreign language editions and was selected as a "Notable Book of 1999" by the New York Times Book Review.

ANATOMY OF LOVE: The Natural History of Mating, Marriage and Why We Stray (W.W. Norton 1992; Fawcett paperbacks, 1994) examined divorce in 62 societies, adultery in 42 cultures and patterns of monogamy and desertion in birds and mammals to offer a theory for the evolution of serial marriage and the future of human family life. It was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, and the Quality Paperback Book Club, and chosen as a "Notable Book" of 1992 and 1994 by The New York Times Book Review. It has 19 foreign language editions.

THE SEX CONTRACT: The Evolution of Human Behavior (William Morrow l982; Quill paperbacks l983) discussed the evolution of human female sexuality, the origin of human pair-bonding and the evolution of the human monogamous nuclear family. It was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month-Club and had five foreign language editions.

Dr. Fisher has been on the national lecture circuit since l983 discussing the evolution of human sexuality, romantic love, marriage and divorce, gender differences in the brain and behavior, personality, temperament and mate choice, and the future of men and women in business and family life. Her lectures include speeches at: The World Economic Forum (Davos), TED, the Aspen Institute, LeWEB, National Press Club, Harvard Medical School, American Association for the Advancement of Science, The United Nations, The Salk Institute, Sexual Medicine Society of North America, Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratories, The American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian Institution, Boston Museum of Science, 92nd Street Y, The C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago, Planned Parenthood of NYC, U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Psychiatric Association, CompassPoint Addiction Foundation, William Alanson White Institute, National Association of Social Workers, The Brookings Institution, American Press Institute, American Society of Newpaper Editors, Newspaper Association of America, Bank of America, Solomon-Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, Fortune Magazine, Columbia Business School, New York State Association of Independent Schools, Johnson and Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Women in Leadership Summit, and other academic, museum, town hall and business conferences in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia (see vitae for full list). During 1994-95 she lectured on college campuses as a Visiting Scholar of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Her publications include articles in Journal of Comparative Neurology, Journal of Neurophysiology, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, Neuroendocrinology Letters, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, Cerebrum: The Dana Forum on Brain Science, The Journal of NIH Research, The American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Human Nature, The New York Times Book Review, Psychology Today, Natural History, Scientific American, New Scientist, The Chronicle of Higher Education, On Air: BBC International Magazine, and books published by Smithsonian Press, Greenwood Press, Columbia University Press, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Rutgers University Press, MIT Press and Yale University Press.

Since l983 Dr. Fisher has served as an anthropological commentator and/or consultant for businesses and the media. Her contracts include those with NBC's Today Show, WNET TV (New York), The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Reader's Digest, Time-Life books, Roper Starch Worldwide, Procter and Gamble, National Starch and Chemical Co., Leo Burnett. Manning, Selvage and Lee, Avon, Ferminisch, American Museum of Natural History, Match.com, Revlon, General Foods, and American Express. She is currently Chief Scientific Advisor to Chemistry.com, a division of Match.com.

ABC 20/20 featured her 2009 book in an hour-long special, WHY HIM? WHY HER? in January 2009. She was the host of a four-part radio series, WHAT IS LOVE? for the BBC World Service in 2004; host of a four-part TV series, ANATOMY OF LOVE, for Turner Broadcasting Systems in 1995; and commentator on a 10-part series for The Today Show (NBC) in 1984-85. She has appeared on many other TV programs in the US and abroad, including Nightline (ABC), The Colbert Report, The View, Dateline NBC, ABC Prime Time Live, ABC 20/20, Sonya Live (CNN), CNN News, CNN International News, The Today Show (NBC), NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America (ABC), John Stossel (ABC), USA Today, WGBH (PBS Boston), Charlie Rose (PBS New York), The Cronkite Report, WETA (PBS Washington), The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, MS-NBC Today in America, The Early Show (CBS), the Oprah Winfrey Show, the History Channel, The Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, BBC London, Channel 4 London, and CBC Canada. She has also appeared on many local, regional, national, international and foreign radio talk shows including: Larry King Live, Talk of the Nation (NPR), Science Friday (NPR), The Diane Rehm Show (Washington DC), The Leonard Lopate Show (New York NPR), All Things Considered (NPR), the Michael Jackson Show (Los Angeles), The Milt Rosenberg Show (Chicago), Quirks and Quarks (CBC national Canadian), Ideas (CBC national Canadian), AAAS Science, BBC National Radio and BBC international radio. For her work in communicating anthropology to the lay public, Helen has received the American Anthropological Association's "Distinguished Service Award."

 

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