Professor Calhoun is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics.
He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council.
Professor Calhoun took a D Phil in History and Sociology at Oxford University and a Master's in Social Anthropology at Manchester. He co-founded, with Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE, the NYLON programme which brings together graduate students from New York and London for co-operative research programmes.
He is the author of several books including Nations Matter, Critical Social Theory, Neither Gods Nor Emperors and most recently The Roots of Radicalism(University of Chicago Press, 2012).
Describing his own approach to academic work, Professor Calhoun says: "We must set high standards for ourselves, but in order to inform the public well, not to isolate ourselves from it."
Why do we tell and engage with (listen, read, watch, play) stories compulsively? In our world of usually unsparing evolutionary competition, good information matters for organisms of every kind.