From The Magazine: Pete Hatemi on Genes and Politics

September 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm 3 comments

For our Sept./Oct. issue, I had the chance to interview Pete Hatemi about his research into the ways our genes help determine everything from how we choose a mate to how we vote. Hatemi is an associate professor whose expertise melds political science with biochemistry and genetics, a relatively rare crossover that allows him to work in really interesting areas.

We headlined the Q&A “Are We Born Biased?,” and the short answer to that question is, “It’s complicated.” The interview in our print edition offers more context, but the video below—it’s a couple of years old, timed with the release of his book, Man is by Nature a Political Animal, back in 2011—is a useful primer:

And—this just in—Hatemi was a guest Monday on Voices in the Family on WHYY radio in Philadelphia.

If you’re curious for more—and it really is fascinating stuff—you can Bing or Google Hatemi’s name and find all sorts of stories that reference his research. Some—like this one, published in England last year—tend to generalize and presume levels of certainty that Hatemi and his colleagues never actually state. And of course, there’s a tendency by folks on both political extremes to interpret his work as affirming the correctness of their worldview while mocking that of their ideological foes. If nothing else, Hatemi emphasizes that his findings confirm what common sense should already be telling us: If we want better politics, we need to find ways to get along.

Ryan Jones, senior editor


Entry filed under: The Penn Stater Magazine. Tags: , .

The Penn Stater Daily — Sept. 17, 2013 The Penn Stater Daily — Sept. 18, 2013

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joyce Bratich-Cherif  |  September 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Please note that my new e-mail address is:

    *** * Please do not send any further mailings to

    Thank you! Joyce Bratich-Cherif

  • 2. For Now, and For the Future | The Penn Stater Magazine  |  September 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    […] I’ve had the chance to interview faculty members whose research explains everything from the genetic influence on our voting habits to the science of zombified ants. I’ve met students who have established themselves as […]

  • […] starters: You might remember our feature on political science prof Pete Hatemi from last fall. Hatemi’s research explores the surprising links between genetics and […]

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