Brown Symposium 2022


This year’s symposium is honored to host these guest speakers. 

David M. Buss, Ph.D. David M. Buss, Ph.D.

David M. Buss is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Buss previously taught at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. He is considered the world’s leading scientific expert on strategies of human mating and one of the founders of the field of evolutionary psychology. His books include:  The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating;  Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind;  The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy is as Necessary as Love and Sex;  The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind is Designed to Kill; and  Why Women Have Sex (with Cindy Meston). His new book:  When Men Behave Badly: The Hidden Roots of Sexual Deception, Harassment, and Assault  (2021) uncovers the evolutionary roots of conflict between the sexes. Buss has more than 300 scientific publications. In 2019, he was cited as one of the 50 most influential living psychologists in the world. Twitter: @ProfDavidBuss.


Lisa Diamond, Ph.D. Lisa Diamond, Ph.D.

Lisa M. Diamond is Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah.  For over 25 years, she has studied the development and expression of gender and sexuality across the life course.  Her current work focuses on the biobehavioral mechanisms through which social stigma, social stress, and social safety shape the health and well-being of sexually-diverse and gender-diverse individuals at different stages of development.  Dr. Diamond is best known for her research on sexual fluidity, which describes the capacity for individuals to experience unexpected shifts in sexual identity and expression over time.  Her 2008 book,  Sexual Fluidity, published by Harvard University Press, has been awarded the Distinguished Book Award from the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Study of LGBTQ Issues. Dr. Diamond is also co-editor of the first-ever APA   Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology, published in 2014, and is a fellow of two divisions of the APA.  She has published over 130 articles and book chapters, and has been invited to present her research at nearly 140 national and international universities and conferences. Dr. Diamond has received awards for her work from the Developmental Psychology and LGBT Psychology Divisions of the APA, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the International Association for Relationship Research, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.


Amy Muise, Ph.D. Amy Muise, Ph.D.

Amy Muise is an Associate Professor at York University in Toronto, Canada, and the Director of the Sexual Health and Relationships (SHaRe) lab. In her research, she investigates the factors that help couples maintain desire and passion over time, have more fulfilling sex lives and relationships, and successfully navigate conflicts of interest or transitional periods in a relationship. She primarily uses ecologically valid methods, such as dyadic, longitudinal studies to best approximate couples’ relationships over time and studies diverse relationships including long-term couples, couples coping with clinical sexual issues, people in consensually nonmonogamous relationships, intercultural couples, and couples transitioning to parenthood. Dr. Muise’s research informs how couples can thrive in their relationships, which has broad implications for overall health and well-being. For more information, please visit or follow her on Twitter @AmyMuise or Instagram @share.research.


Michael J. Ryan, Ph.D. Michael J. Ryan, Ph.D.

Michael J. Ryan is the Clark Hubbs Regents Professor in Zoology at the University of Texas, Austin. He has been a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama since 1982, and currently is a Senior Research Associate there. Ryan’s primary research interests are in the evolution and mechanisms of animal behavior, especially animal communication and sexual selection. Ryan is a Fellow of the  American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the  American Association for the Advancement of Science, the  Guggenheim Foundation, and the  Institute for Advanced Studies. He has received the Distinguished Animal Behaviorist Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animal Behavior Society (2017), the  E.O. Wilson Naturalist Award from the American Society of Naturalists (2010), the  Joseph Grinnell Medal from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (UC, Berkeley, 2008), and the  Exemplar Award from the Center for Integrative Studies in Animal Behavior (Indiana University, 2007). He also was selected as one of the 25  Leaders in Animal Behavior (2010). He has published more than 350 scientific papers and five books. His 1985 book  The Túngara Frog, A Study in Sexual Selection and Communication is considered a classic in its field, and most recently in 2018, he published  A Taste for the Beautiful, The Evolution of Attraction. He is currently on the Board of Reviewing Editors for  Science, which he first joined in 2011, and is chairman of the  Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute in Seeweisen, Germany.


Valerie Steele, Ph.D. Valerie Steele, Ph.D.

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has organized more than 25 exhibitions since 1997, including:  The Corset: Fashioning the Body,  London Fashion, Gothic: Dark Glamour;  A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, and  Paris, Capital of Fashion.  She is also the author or editor of more than 30 books, including  Paris Fashion, Women of Fashion, Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power,  The Corset,   The Berg Companion to Fashion, and  Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT.  Her books have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. In addition, she is founder and editor in chief of  Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first scholarly journal in Fashion Studies.  Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D) with the rare ability to communicate with general audiences. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Valerie Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion. She has appeared on many television programs, including  The Oprah Winfrey Show and  Undressed: The Story of Fashion. Described in  The Washington Post  as one of “fashion’s brainiest women” and by Suzy Menkes as “The Freud of Fashion,” she was listed as one of “The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry” in the  Business of Fashion 500: (2014 - present).