(612) 625-5700 EEB department
(612) 624-6777 EEB dept. Fax
Private phone line in Toronto. Contact first by e-mail at --- regal001 AT tc DOT umn DOT edu
Biographical Information: CV, Links to Personal Photos, etc.
Mind and Brain as Adaptive Systems. I have extended the interest in mechanisms and trends of adaptation to the biological evolution and social adaptation of the human mind. My basic interest in fact goes back to graduate school, when I was awarded a fellowship to study at the Brain Research Institute at UCLA. Eventually the The Anatomy of Judgment (1990) was written and published. This book explores the biological and social forces that shape human consciousness. It explores the history of science in relation to the problems presented to human consciousness, and to the needs of an intelligent social animal, by a biologically imperfect brain and by intellectually imperfect belief systems and social institutions. Check related essay on "The Brain and the University" in Essays on Institutional Issues Link below.
The Shaping of the Modern Mind and Institutions. Much of my research since then has continued the exploration of issues raised in The Anatomy of Judgment but has focused specifically on a historical and functional analysis of the dominant intellectual trends and social institutions that have shaped consciousness in the centuries that have produced the modern world. A huge amount of manuscript remains to be polished for publication. The manuscripts available through my Essays link below are not part of the main body of this unpublished material, but they may be food for thought for readers who are interested in this general area of modern institutions and mentalities.
Genetic Engineering Biosafety. A major research interest since 1984 has been an effort to develop a scientific basis for predicting the implications of using cutting-edge tools of genetic engineering to modify organisms. What biological concepts are appropriate to think through the particular questions raised about the adaptive potential of GEOs? This project has been comparable in some respects to the general need to define the proper mathematical tools to apply to various problems. When and how should one apply algebra, calculus, or particular statistical techniques to resolve a question? Some recent publications and manuscripts are available below through the Biosafety Page Link., in addition to many suggested links to other biosafety web sites that may be of interest.
Bonobo Cousins of Humans. Another major research interest has been to analyse the relatively recent knowledge that has been accumulated about the behavior, ecology, anatomy, and genetics of our close relative the bonobo, Pan paniscus, sometimes still called the pygmy chimpanzee. This rare and highly endangered species has extremely important implications for thinking about human evolution and about the theories of human nature that have been generated in Western cultures but much of the information remains scattered in technical journals, or it has been clouded by odd scientific controversies that make up a fascinating chapter in the history of science. Thus, bonobos have connections to my long-standing interests in the biological brain and its evolution, in the development of Western belief systems, and in the history and sociology of science. A Bonobo Page Link is available by clicking below. This page has links to a number of other bonobo web sites that may have interesting information or attractive pictures.
LINKS TO PJR'S INDIVIDUAL WEB PAGES FOR INDIVIDUAL AREAS OF RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION
I am retired and not accepting more graduate students.
This web page will be updated as I find time in a still very busy retirement. If you have comments or suggestions, e-mail me at regal001 at tc dot umn dot edu