Research Director in Anthropology, National Center for Scientific Research in Paris
Adjunct Research Scientist, Research Center for Group Dynamics
Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Visiting Professor of Public Policy, University of Michigan
Presidential Scholar, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Senior Research Fellow, Harris Manchester College, Oxford University
What He Studies
The cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion, and the causes and motivations behind violent extremism and terrorism.
recent articles on religion & culture
in the news
Anthropologist Scott Atran studies terrorists, seeking to understand what drives people to join groups such as the Islamist terrorist organization ISIS. The answers are sometimes surprising.
The challenge for democracies is to provide an alternative means of satisfying the quest for glory that motivates those who join in Isis’s barbarism.
— The Guardian