In Memoriam

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Seth Douglass Roberts ’74

A picture of Seth Roberts

Seth Douglass Roberts ’74, April 26, 2014, in Berkeley, California, from heart failure. Seth earned a BA from Reed in psychology and a PhD in experimental psychology from Brown. He was a tenured professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, served on the editorial advisory board of the scientific journal Nutrition, and published dozens of articles on topics such as health, nutrition, and weight control. Articles about his work appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, and major scientific journals, including Science and Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He was well known for his book The Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-Loss Plan (2006), but better known for his work in self-experimentation and as a pioneer in the Quantified Self movement, which he shared at Seth’s Blog: Personal Science, Self-Experimentation, Scientific Method ( He also published an additional book, The Science of One. In 2008, he retired from Berkeley as an emeritus professor and joined the faculty in psychology at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Seth collapsed while hiking near his home in Berkeley. Informing the college of Seth’s death, Prof. Allen Neuringer [psychology 1970–2008] stated, “Seth and I coauthored a chapter on self-experimentation. He’s had a major impact on the developing fields of self-experimentation and quantified self. He was brilliant and deeply committed to helping people better their lives. He’ll be missed by many throughout the world.” Survivors include his mother, Justine Roberts, and sister Amy Rogers.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2014

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