About Helen Fisher

StarTalk All-Star

Helen E. Fisher is a Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and a member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University. From 1984 to 1994 she was Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at The American Museum of Natural History. She received her PhD in Physical Anthropology at the University of Colorado with a dissertation on the evolution of human female sexuality and the origin of the nuclear family.

She is currently studying the biological basis of personality and is a pioneer in examining the neurochemistry of leadership and innovation. Using data collected from her questionnaire, the Fisher Temperament Inventory Test, taking by 14 million people in 40 countries, as well as her knowledge of genetics, brain architecture (using fMRI) and neurochemistry, Helen discusses four broad styles of thinking and behaving associated with four specific brain systems.  She gives detailed data on how to recognize and influence each temperament style and how individuals of each temperament dimension are predisposed to think, work, buy, innovate, follow and lead.

She has written six internationally best-selling books and many articles on the brain science of human social behavior.

ANATOMY OF LOVE: The Natural History of Mating, Marriage and Why We Stray (fully revised and updated 2nd Edition; Feb 1st, 2016, New York: WW Norton)

WHY HIM? WHY HER? How to find and keep lasting love (Jan 2009, Henry Holt; paperback 2010)

WHY WE LOVE: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love (Henry Holt, 2004; paperback 2005)

THE FIRST SEX: The Natural Talents of Women and How They are Changing the World (Random House 1999; Ballantine Paperbacks 2000)

ANATOMY OF LOVE: The Natural History of Mating, Marriage and Why We Stray (W.W. Norton 1992; Fawcett paperbacks, 1994)

THE SEX CONTRACT: The Evolution of Human Behavior (William Morrow l982; Quill paperbacks l983)

Dr. Fisher has been on the national lecture circuit since l983 discussing the evolution of human sexuality, romantic love, marriage, adultery and divorce, gender differences in the brain and behavior, personality, temperament and mate choice, business personalities, and the future of men and women in business and family life. Her lectures include speeches at: The World Economic Forum (Davos), TED (she is a TED Allstar), the 2012 international meeting of the G-20, The Economist, The National Academy of Sciences, The California Academy of Sciences, International Monetary Fund, The Aspen Institute, LeWEB, USA Today/Gannet, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, National Press Club, Harvard Medical School, American Association for the Advancement of Science, The United Nations, The Salk Institute, the United States Air Force Academy, Sexual Medicine Society of North America, Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratories, The American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian Institution, Boston Museum of Science, The New York Academy of Sciences, 92nd Street Y, The C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago, Planned Parenthood of NYC, U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Psychiatric Association, CompassPoint Addiction Foundation, William Alanson White Institute, National Association of Social Workers, The Brookings Institution, American Press Institute, American Society of Newspaper Editors, Newspaper Association of America, Bank of America/Merril Lynch, Solomon-Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, Fortune Magazine, Columbia Business School, New York State Association of Independent Schools, Johnson and Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, VISA, American Express, Women in Leadership Summit, Biogen, The Guggenheim Museum, KPMG, Blue Cross, CSX Corp, and other business, academic, museum, and town hall conferences in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia (see vita for full list). During 1994-95 she lectured on college campuses as a Visiting Scholar of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. IN 2014, she was designated a TED All Star because her two TED speeches have been seen by 5 million people worldwide.

Her publications include articles in PLoS ONE, Journal of Comparative Neurology, Journal of Neurophysiology, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, Neuroendocrinology Letters, Personality and Individual Differences, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, Cerebrum: The Dana Forum on Brain Science, The Journal of NIH Research, The American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Human Nature, The New York Times Book Review, Psychology Today, Natural History, Scientific American, New Scientist, The Chronicle of Higher Education, On Air: BBC International Magazine, and books published by Smithsonian Press, Greenwood Press, Columbia University Press, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Rutgers University Press, MIT Press and Yale University Press. Her publication on the brain correlates of romantic rejection (fMRI) was chosen as one of the best 100 academic articles of 2010, by Discover Magazine.

Since l983 Dr. Fisher has served as an anthropological commentator and/or consultant for businesses and the media. Her contracts include those with Match.com, NBC’s Today Show, WNET TV (New York), The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Reader’s Digest, Time-Life books, Roper Starch Worldwide, Procter and Gamble, Deloitte, Visa, Harpo Productions, National Starch and Chemical Co., Leo Burnett. Manning, Selvage and Lee, Avon, Ferminisch, American Museum of Natural History, Revlon, General Foods, American Express, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, and VISA; and she was a juror at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and a juror at the Tribecca Film Festival in 2013. She is currently Chief Scientific Advisor to Match.com and Chemistry.com, a division of Match.com.

ABC 20/20 featured her 2009 book in an hour-long special, WHY HIM? WHY HER? in January 2009. She was the host of a four-part radio series, WHAT IS LOVE? for the BBC World Service in 2004; host of a four-part TV series, ANATOMY OF LOVE, for Turner Broadcasting Systems in 1995; and commentator on a 10-part series for The Today Show (NBC) in 1984-85. She has appeared on hundreds of other TV programs in the US and abroad, including Nightline (ABC), The Colbert Report, The View, Dateline NBC, ABC Prime Time Live, ABC 20/20, Sonya Live (CNN), CNN News, CNN International News, The Today Show (NBC), NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America (ABC), John Stossel (ABC), USA Today, WGBH (PBS Boston), Charlie Rose (PBS New York), The Cronkite Report, WETA (PBS Washington), The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, MS-NBC Today in America, The Early Show (CBS), the Oprah Winfrey Show, the History Channel, The Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, BBC London, Channel 4 London, and CBC Canada. She has also appeared on many local, regional, national, international and foreign radio talk shows including: Larry King Live, Talk of the Nation (NPR), Science Friday (NPR), The Diane Rehm Show (Washington DC), The Leonard Lopate Show (New York NPR), All Things Considered (NPR), the Michael Jackson Show (Los Angeles), The Milt Rosenberg Show (Chicago), Quirks and Quarks (CBC national Canadian), Ideas (CBC national Canadian), AAAS Science, BBC National Radio and BBC international radio. For her work in communicating anthropology to the lay public, Helen has received the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology in Media Award, and Distinguished Service Award.