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   from the issue of October 12, 2006

Lecture to link genes, politics and behavior


A UNL political scientist will discuss the role genes play in political beliefs during the upcoming fall Nebraska Lecture.


John R. Hibbing, Foundation Regents University Professor of political science, will outline his research at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 31 in the Nebraska Union auditorium. The free public lecture is part of the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series at UNL. A reception will follow.

In his presentation, "Genes, Behavior and Politics," Hibbing will outline his research examining the role of genetics in shaping people's political temperaments.

"Genes have been known to influence our physical traits, but evidence is growing that genes influence our behavior as well," Hibbing said. "We know that personal temperaments, such as whether an individual is introverted or extraverted, prone to taking risks or avoiding harm, can be traced to genes. Preliminary evidence from my research indicates that genes are also relevant to political attitudes."

The Nebraska Lectures feature distinguished UNL faculty, are designed for general audiences and provide insights about some of the university's leading research and scholarly activity. The lectures are sponsored by the UNL Research Council, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies and the Office of the Chancellor.

Hibbing joined Nebraska's faculty as an assistant professor in 1981 and was promoted to associate professor in 1985, professor in 1990, and was named a Foundation Regents University Professor in 2001. He earned his bachelor's degree from Dana College in Blair, and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Iowa. He has taught courses and written books and articles on biology and social behavior, American politics, legislative politics and public opinion.



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