JESSE BERING is a science writer specializing in evolutionary psychology and human behavior. His “Bering in Mind” column at Scientific American was a 2010 Webby Award Honoree for the Blog-Cultural category by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Bering’s first book, The Belief Instinct (2011), was included on the American Library Association’s Top 25 Books of the Year. This was followed by a collection of his previously published essays, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? (2012), and Perv (2013).
An experimental psychologist by training, Bering's early research was in the cognitive science of religion, and he has published extensively in that field. He began his career at the University of Arkansas as an Assistant Professor of Psychology (2002-2006). He then served as the Director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at the Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he was a Reader in the School of History and Anthropology (2006-2011). Presently, he is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
He is the author of numerous scientific articles on topics ranging from the afterlife to university students' conceptions of destiny. Bering also writes a featured weekly blog for Scientific American Mind called "Bering in Mind".