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Scott Atran, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Michigan. He researches the following areas: cognitive and linguistic anthropology, ethnobiology, environmental decision making, categorization and reasoning, evolutionary psychology, anthropology of science (history and philosophy of natural history and natural philosophy); Middle East ethnography and political economy, among other topics. Atran also serves as Adjunct Research Scientist at the Research Center for Group Dynamics; Adjunct Professor for the School of Natural Resources & Environment; Associate Research Scientist for the Anthropology Department; and Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris. In his quest to understand what makes people kill and die for a cause, Atran has met with the Hamas high command in Damascus, Syria, interviewed the plotters behind the 2002 Bali bombing, unpacked the web of connections behind the 9/11 and 2004 Madrid train attacks and been forced to flee for his life from militants in Indonesia and Pakistan unsettled by his probings.

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