March 1, 2006

HARRISONBURG—As a part of its Guardian Lecture Series, the Nelson for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University will host a public lecture by Dr. Bradley A. Thayer of the Missouri State University Department of Defense and Strategic Studies who will address “The Nature of War: Understanding the Evolutionary Origins of Human Conflict,” on Wednesday, March 15, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in Harrison Hall 1261. (The lecture qualifies as a Wellness Passport event for JMU students.)

Dr. Thayer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Before joining the Missouri State faculty, Dr. Thayer taught at Darmouth College and the University of Minnesota. He has been a Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a consultant to the Rand Corporation. His research interests cover a broad range of international security issues, including information warfare, the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation, the origins of wars and ethnic conflict, terrorism, and United States national security policy. Dr. Thayer is the author of Darwin and International Relations: On the Evolutionary Origins of War and Ethnic Conflict (2004) and co-author of America’s Achilles’ Heel: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Terrorism and Covert Attack (1998), as well as numerous articles.

The Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at Missouri State University is located in Washington, D.C., and provides professional, graduate-level academic training for students planning careers in U.S. national security policy, defense analysis, and related fields.

Named after James Madison’s famous observation to his friend George Thompson that “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty” (Letter, June 30, 1825), the Guardian Lecture Series will bring scholars and practitioners distinguished in the Nelson Institute’s four principal areas of interest—terrorism and national security, Africa, religion and global politics, and international ethics and justice—to James Madison University. During their visits to the Harrisonburg, Virginia, campus, the lecturers not only present a public lecture, but also have an opportunity to encounter JMU faculty and studies both in the classroom and in more informal “off the record” discussions.

Support for Dr. Thayer’s visit to JMU was provided in part by a College of Arts and Letters Enhancement Initiative grant.