James Fowler is a new kind of political scientist. Specializing in genopolitics &mdash the genetic basis of political behavior &mdash and the evolution of cooperation, he melds the social with the biological, pushing the boundaries of his field to discover, for example, that smoking, obesity, and happiness spread within social networks, and that genes affect voting behavior. A professor at the University of California, San Diego, Fowler is famous among students for publishing the first scientific evidence to support the "Colbert bump." His book Connected: The Surprising Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives is due out in 2010.
The Seed Salon: Albert-László Barabási + James Fowler
Portrait by Julian Dufort