Bernd Baldus is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto (St. George). He studied economics at the University of Cologne in Germany, received his MA in African Studies from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his PhD in Sociology from the University of Kiel (Germany). He did field research in East and West Africa. He is currently completing a book on theories of social inequality.
Professor Baldus’ research uses evolutionary theory to explain social processes. Instead of looking at the long‑term, genetic effects of evolution, he is interested in the short‑term implications of evolutionary principles for the lifetime behaviour of people such as innovation, cooperation and responses to uncertainty. The general focus is on the independent role of individuals in cultural selection and evolution. Professor Baldus uses these ideas also to make sense of the causes of social inequality and the forces that lead to the stabilization and change of inequality structures. This work includes an interest in theories of social justice, in alternative economic organizations such as cooperative and worker-owned production, and in different social policy options for the distribution of income and wealth.
Professor Baldus has received many teaching awards, including the Faculty of Arts and Science award for undergraduate teaching excellence at the University of Toronto. Outside of his academic work he is involved in environmental projects such as the restoration of the Garrison Creek ravine, remnant of one of Toronto's lost rivers.