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Who We Are: Wendell Bell

Dr. Wendell Bell grew up in California's San Joaquin Valley with a big sky and snow-capped mountains. Reading became a way of life, first in school and then at home, day and night. World War II interrupted his education and he spent three years as a Naval Aviator, with a tour of duty in the Philippines. He married Lora-Lee Edwards, who taught him to love animals and art (she is an artist), and had children. After earning a Ph.D. degree in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1952, he taught at Stanford and Northwestern before returning to UCLA (where he did research on leadership, inequality, and social justice in the new states of the Caribbean). Then, in 1963, he was called to Yale where he expanded his comparative studies of inequality and social justice and where he stayed until his retirement in 1995. He remains at Yale as a Senior Research Scholar in the Center of Comparative Research and also works as a futurist consultant. He became a futurist in the early 1960s, introduced futures studies courses at Yale, and published a basic text in 1997, the two-volume Foundations of Futures Studies. He has written nine books and more than 200 articles. When asked to join the Invitation to ETI group, he immediately wanted to inform any ETs that he is definitely not good to eat - too old and stringy. He added that most of his adult life he has been trying to learn how to be a decent human being, and he is still working on it, not always successfully. In addition, he wants to ask any ET who is listening, "What does it mean to be a good citizen of the Universe?" He also wonders whether extraterrestrials have a sense of humor. Wendell Bell

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