236 Replies to “Seth”

  1. My condolences. I’m stunned; I’ve been reading his blog for awhile and never suspected his health was failing.

    I know this is a rough time, but I’d like to ask: if you don’t already know for certain, please preserve any evidence, digital and physical, that might indicate why he died. If it was the result of one of his self-experiments, then I think he would want us to know.

  2. I am deeply saddened to lose my dear friend of 35 years. Brilliant, curious, kind, supportive — Seth was a treasured friend who I looked forward to sharing ideas and experiences with for many years. I will miss him a lot. My condolences to Seth’s family.

  3. Amy, I’m devastated to hear this news. Seth has been an incredible inspiration for improving my family’s lives. Please accept my condolences.

  4. I am so sorry to hear this. I followed his work closely both here and in my academic career (Roberts and Pashler, 2000 should be required reading for all scientists). His passion for the science and understanding the world around us shone through in everything I read of his. I’ll miss him.

  5. I am deeply sadden to learn of his death.

    Amy, I would like to know if he died of a brain hemorrhage (or other sort of hemorrhage) and what his level of omega 3 intake was. Please fill us in on the medical details.

    In October, I emailed him this: “I left a comment because you underestimated your omega 3 consumption by a factor of 10. The denominator is 10 g for flaxseeds, not 100 g.


    [That is, his omega 3 intake was about 13 grams/day]

    And he responded with the next day with “thank you for your comment (and the additional info in your email), I took your comment VERY seriously. I have already gone down from 60 g/day to 30 g/day.

    But it is not so obvious what to do because if I remember correctly I found that 60 g/day produced better results than 30 g/day. I’m not sure about that however. Maybe I am misremembering. Maybe I will stay at 30 g/day for a while and then see if there is any difference when I go to 15 g/day.


  6. I am deeply saddened to lose my dear friend of 35 years. Brilliant, curious, kind, supportive — Seth was a treasured friend who I looked forward to sharing ideas and experiences with for many years. I will miss him a lot. My condolences to Seth’s family.

  7. Wow. Unbelievably tragic. I’ve always been intriguied by Seth and his ideas. I admired him. I wish you and your family the best in this difficult time.

  8. As others have already written, and I stunned and devastated by this news. I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family.

    I never got the chance to meet Seth in person, but I learned so much from his writing. What an inspiring person. I am at a loss for words. RIP Seth.

  9. Seth’s creativity, courage, kindness, and integrity have inspired and helped me more than I can say. We’ve lost a very fine man.

  10. On April 21 Seth was interviewed extensively by Super Human Radio’s Carl Lanore.

    Condolences to all who cared for and loved Seth.

  11. This is tragic and shocking news. I’ve been a reader for years and learned so much from Seth and this site. There was still so much more to learn from him. Please accept my condolences.

  12. I’m absolutely shocked that this happened to Seth. I’ve never met him, just interacted via a few comments on his blog and an email conversation, but I feel like I just lost someone I know. Seth had such a curious, bright mind and was never afraid to challenge the status quo. A great loss…

  13. I’m very sorry to hear of Seth’s death– he found and pursued a non-standard and useful way of making people’s lives better. I admire his gusto and optimism about how much could be discovered.

  14. I am shocked. I am in shock. I can’t bring myself to believe Seth is gone, and feel like this is some elaborate hoax. Seth has been a dear friend for a long time. My collaboration with him, and my conversations with him, have made a profound impact on my life. His warm companionship, unique intellect, insatiable curiosity, and infinite creativity will be missed. A bit of Seth will live on in me for the rest of my life.

  15. I am stunned and saddened too. I found his ideas refreshing and stimulating. I will be missing him and this blog that he kept posting to so often.

    Condolences to his family and friends.

    RIP Seth.

  16. EVERYTHING that Nancy said, which was perfect. Seth was curious, persistent, and an asset to the human community.

    I met him once at the Ancestral Health Symposium and he was just as I’d imagined: quiet, shy, curious, and studious. A complete person, at one with his path, it seemed. May his work live on.

  17. I’m very sad to hear of this. Seth and I never met in person but we communicated over email regularly and became friends. RIP Seth I will miss our friendship.

  18. This is terrible news. Prof. Roberts taught me much about science and health. This is truly a deep loss for the world. My condolences to his family.

  19. Thanks for letting us all know, Amy. I’m so sorry for your loss. I am absolutely devastated. Seth made such a huge difference in my life and the lives of so many others, he was an incredibly visionary and forward-thinking researcher. I will truly miss reading his insights & research.

    So sad to have lost such a brilliant mind. RIP.

  20. I learned a lot from Seth by reading this blog. He has helped me in numerous ways. My condolences go out to his family and to those that knew him personally or through this blog.

  21. Thank you, Seth, for always listening to us and for helping us. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and loved ones.

  22. Wow. Just wow. So sorry for your and your family’s loss. I hope you can find some solace that his legacy, heterodox questioning and self-awareness through self-experimentation, touched many tens of thousands of people and made their lives better for it.

    RIP Seth.

  23. Thank You Amy and So Sorry for your loss.
    Seth was a Real Human BEing at it’s best.
    Question: Would it Help for readers to “Continue to Donate”
    To Help KEEP this Blog ONLINE for All to Read ?
    If not Please POST and let us know what would help
    Keep this Blog HERE ~ Thanks
    May Seth continue to send messages to many on this plane.

  24. Sad to hear that Seth has moved to Shangri-La in the Sky. We met online and knew each other virtually – it was a pleasure to have known him and my thoughts are with his family at this sad time. I’ll be drinking a shot of EVCO in his memory tonight.

  25. It’s hard to think about right now, but I agree: if his passing was related to his heavy omega 3 intake, I think he’d want his friends, acquaintances, and readers to know. I am so sorry for all our loss.

  26. This is very sad to hear. A part of me always hoped he’d find a way to hack himself to immortality! Rest in peace Seth.

  27. I have been following this blog for a long time. The news is a shock. I thought it was some kind of a joke.

    He was always self experimenting to figure out how to fix whatever he didn’t like about himself. I guess whatever this problem was sneaked up on him. It would be useful for all his followers to know what went wrong. I think he would like it as well.

    He was a true researcher. We need more people like him.

    RIP Seth.

  28. He was always self experimenting to figure out how to fix whatever he didn’t like about himself. I guess whatever this problem was sneaked up on him. It would be useful for all his followers to know what went wrong. I think he would like it as well.

  29. My sincerest condolences to you and the rest of your family. Seth’s writing was very important and influenced me deeply. He was an original and deeply original thinker and even though I never met him I will miss him deeply.

  30. This is devastating news..! I have had several email exchanges with him – What a fine man..! A terrible loss.!!
    Rest in peace, dear friend..!!

  31. Very sad news. I didn’t know Seth and I wasn’t a poster here, but I’m a longtime reader and a big admirer, his blog has been educational and inspirational. He was a force for good. I hate death.

  32. Such terrible news. Seth’s blog has been a “must-read” for me for several years and it’s sad to think there will be no more.

    Please accept my sincere condolences.

  33. Amy, I am so very sad to hear about your loss. Seth was such a bright light, a unique voice for personal science and also just a lovely person.

    I emailed him ‘out of the blue’ one day, never expecting a reply, with a request that I never thought he’d be interested in (to publicise my health issue on his blog, so that anyone with info could contact me).

    Not only did I get an answer almost immediately, but he was enthusiastic about my idea, did it that day, and asked me to keep him updated on my progress. And when I did, he always replied with encouragement and ideas. People just aren’t like that, especially busy, quite famous professors.

    Sad day. 🙁

  34. So very, very sorry to learn of Seth’s death. I only recently discovered his blog and enjoyed reading and learning from it.

    My condolences to the entire family at the loss of Seth at much too early an age. I wish you all every strength in the coming months in coping with your grief. My heart goes out to you all.

  35. Ouch. I was not expecting that and am very sad to hear it – thank you for letting us know! (Seth and I had corresponded over the years due some overlapping interests, but hadn’t met in person.)

    How old was Seth? Wikipedia doesn’t list his birth date but seems like it ought to.

  36. Hi Amy,

    When is Seth’s funeral and viewing? Where will they be located? I would like to go.

    Thank you.


  37. Amy, my deepest sympathies to you and your family. I never met Seth in person, but we corresponded for several years, and I spoke with him over Skype a few times. Recently, we started the “Brain Tracking” group for people who were interested in self-experimentation. Seth was a unique individual, and I’m greatly saddened by his death. The loss is profound.

    I’m co-moderator of the Google+ Group for people who are interested in tracking their reaction time. Although Seth was the main driving force behind the project, I do think that we should continue his work. If anyone is interested in joining the group, you can do so here (you have to have a Google+ account before you can request membership in the group):


    @Glen: A New York Times article listed his age as 52 in September, 2005.

  38. Seth was unique as both an innovator and educator, and generous in how he shared his knowledge and findings in ways that improved the lives of people he’d never meet or who could never thank him. What a tragic loss. RIP Seth and my condolences to his family and friends.

  39. Amy, please know that you have a couple of SLD successful people in Mexico that are thinking of you, your family and in deep and infinite gratitude for Seth’s work and kindness.

    He changed my life, made think, laugh and realize there is a vast world of knowledge to discover right in front of me.

    This is a huge loss for humanity.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Seth.

    You left this world a better place and changed the life of thousands.

  40. My life has improved greatly from rigorous application of his insights. I now share them with others as food for thought. His work will forever impact the future.

    Of all the things he suggested and that I tried — morning faces, nighttime honey/dessert, increased butter consumption, Vitamin D in the morning, introducing fermented foods into my diet, flaxseed for better gum health — I have benefited from, and experimented with. Sometimes it was less the case that the suggestion solved a problem and more the case that it opened my mind to the possibilities of tinkering with and understanding my body more.

    I’ve also valued the insights on teaching posted to this blog.


  41. Amy: I just posted about the sad news on the SLD forums.

    Sorry to bother you with this, but please let me know if you need help running the forums or maintaining them. I own a small web hosting service and I could host the forums for you.

    Even if they are not so active, a lot of people benefit from those forums. I don’t want all that knowledge to disappear.

    Thank you.

  42. I discovered Seth’s Shangri-La diet through Aaron Swartz, and unlike so many other things, it made me feel as if I had some control over my weight.

    His approach to self-experimentation inspired me to start thinking about my life in a similar way. And in fact, I have been working on a percentile feedback tool (with the help of Nick Winter) that helps me make better use of my time. This was directly copied from one of his experiments.

    Seth has had a profound effect on my life, and I am shocked and saddened to learn of his passing. Thank you for everything, Seth.

  43. I’m shocked and saddened to hear this. Deepest sympathies to you and to his family.

    Seth affected a lot of lives through his work and his many lively interests. I never met him in person, but I felt that I knew him through this blog.Truly a great loss for all of us.

  44. Seth’s work improved my sleep (and life) immensely and I’ll forever be grateful for his particular brand of personal science.

    He was an original thinker and not willing to accept something just because someone said it was so.

    We’ve lost a great mind but the people he inspired will continue to self-experiment and step-by-step improve the world.

  45. That’s so sad. His was one of the few websites I visited every day for fear that I might miss a fascinating post if I didn’t.

    Rest in Peace, dear Seth

  46. Seth, rest in peace my friend. We’ll miss you.
    Amy, our condolences. Seth made a difference in our lives by making us think and question.

  47. Amy thanks for giving us the sad news. May his memory be a blessing. Please share our heartfelt condolences with your family.

    Seth – thanks for inspiring us, challenging us and making us think.

  48. Condolences to all his family. I knew Seth only from his blog and some e-mailing but I’ll badly miss our online “conversations”. He has added to the sum of human knowledge, and done so with spirit and pluck. RIP.

  49. My deepest condolences to you and your family, Amy. Seth made a lasting impact with his initial research discoveries about timing and animals. This work has been, and will continue to be, textbook material that generations of professors will teach and generations of students will learn. He continued to make an impact in his more recent work with self-experimentation, as can be seen by the number of posts before this one. His critical thinking and spirit of inquisitiveness and discovery will be missed by all.

  50. Very sad to hear this news today. I have always appreciated Seth and his willingness to express views which ran counter to conventional wisdom and political correctness if he thought they were backed up by sound evidence and reasoning. Most of all I appreciated his ideas about the meaning and importance of personal science.

  51. Wow. Seth touched a lot of people including me. He was never afraid to say what he believed was right. He’ll certainly be missed.

  52. Terrible news. Loved his blog, ideas and his quantified truth-seeking experiments. Not much more to say, but THANK YOU Seth for everything you shared with us.

  53. Really stunned and sad to see this news. 🙁 Deepest sympathies to Seth’s family and friends. His passing is such a loss, for all of the reasons mentioned above. I hope we can celebrate and continue his spirit of profound inquiry.

    It feels especially startling given the care Seth obviously gave to his own health (though perhaps this extra attention grew out of a condition we, or he, didn’t know about.)

    Someone mentioned his dosage of ground flaxseed. By my calculations, it would take 22 (large, Nordic Naturals pro-omega) fish oil capsules to match the 13g of flax-derived Omega 3s he took daily. That’s a lot. Unrelated to Seth’s experiment, I took around the same amount of 4 tbs ground flaxseed for a few weeks but developed spontaneous bleeding in my eye and stopped. (until seeing these calculations today, I had no idea 4 tbs had that much omega 3)

    Checking this blog had become a treasured nightly ritual for me. Seth’s wisdom will be greatly missed.

  54. I am so sorry for this loss. Seth was quite unique in his empirical approach to medical problems and blog posts (which I’ve followed for years now) will greatly be missed.

    I believe it is unfortunate that his untimely passing might now cast doubt on the efficacy of particular regimens he followed. To those who might think this, remember that there could be other causal factors we did not know regarding his health that could have encouraged him to become active in this field.

    Amy, again I’m so sorry for you loss. If you ever do decide to release more information about causes that lead to his passing, please let us know. I believe it’s an extremely personal topic, but also feel that such information is something that Seth believed could help to advance both the medical field and humanity, in general.

    Warm Regards,

  55. What utterly wretched news. Seth was an inspiration, he had a lot of work left to do, and now we will all miss both the man and his work. From my contact with him, only through email and this blog, he made me aware that being a good man and a true scientist were one. My condolences to all of those who will miss him.

  56. This is a great loss. I include Seth’s work in so many of the things that I teach and that I write. Although he and I were never close personally, his work clearly had an impact on my thinking in a major way. He will truly be missed. My sympathies go out to all whose lives he touched.

  57. I cannot believe Seth is gone… I’m so sorry for your loss.
    I’ve been reading him for a long time. What a great scientist he was. Very inspiring human.
    Whenever you find the strength, if you think he would have liked that, please share the medical reasons why he left us.

  58. I am deeply saddened to lose my dear friend of 35 years, Seth Roberts. Brilliant, curious, kind, supportive — Seth was a treasured friend who I looked forward to sharing ideas and experiences with for many years. I will miss him a lot. My condolences to Seth’s family.

  59. Please accept my sincere condolences! Seth was a very interesting and kind person, and his presence will be greatly missed. =(

  60. OH!! I’m completely shocked! Seth was one of the my favorite QS speakers and we were always really happy when we could get him to make the trek to QSSV. He inspired and challenged so many assumptions. My condolences to your family!

  61. Just truly shocking news. What a great loss to the world. His memory will live on in the hearts of all the people he has touched with his knowledge and will to make the world a better place. Rest in Peace.

  62. I think for the rest of my life I will continue to wonder what Seth would think about things.

    I can’t believe he’s gone.

  63. Seth changed my life in many ways and I know he’s changed the lives of others with his book. The fact that he was so enthusiastic about sharing his thoughts and his experiments was a reality I took great satisfaction from.

    I feel like all of his blog posts and work are way ahead of their time. Fifty years from now science and public understanding will catch up and those of us here now will point back to this blog.

    “I think for the rest of my life I will continue to wonder what Seth would think about things.”

    Me too Gina

  64. I am deeply sorry and it is hard for me to believe that seth has gone. He very much influenced me with his scientific thinking and he opened a new door to me through this blog. I will miss his posts and i think the world has lost an important critical thinker.

  65. I agree with a previous poster that to truly honor Seth’s work we should ask for a detailed understanding of how and why he died as soon as it’s appropriate. I think it’s safe to say that is what he would have wanted.

    Many of us have followed his prescriptions, and is it possible that some of his ideas led to short term benefits but long term consequences? Or did he suffer from some condition, and his experimentation led him to live longer than he otherwise would have? Perhaps we’ll never know. But it’s worth asking questions when the time is right.

    If you’re interested in joining me in making sure we get answers, email me at nborlaug@outlook.com

  66. My condolences to Amy and to all those who valued Seth’s friendship, inspiration, creativity, and research – as did I.

  67. Seth I started that journal of personal science you asked me to do. I’m so sorry I didn’t write you back last week. I figured out a way to map my mood that you would be very proud of. Thank you for being my mentor. You have changed my life and the way I think and I will be forever grateful.

  68. Dear Amy, Please accept my condolences as well. I’m shocked and so sad to hear this news. Seth spoke at the very first meeting of the Quantified Self, in 2008, and his supportive advice shaped the community in many ways. If there is to be a public memorial will you let us know? There is a good QS community in the Bay Area; if there are any practical things that are useful, let me know and I’ll assist.

    Gary Wolf

  69. I am so very sorry to hear this; Seth’s blog has been one of my go-to reads every morning and I’ve learned to think about a lot of things very differently because of his research and writing. Please know how very much we all appreciated him.

  70. Amy, my heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I am so terribly saddened by this unexpected news. Thank you for taking on the unwelcome task of informing us of his passing.

    I will greatly miss Seth’s unique perspective on the many diverse topics that were of interest to him and his readers. He, and the commenters on his posts, challenged my thinking, in the best possible ways, on my notions of health, personal responsibility, fairness, convention and conviction.

    Most of my days included a visit to Seth’s Blog and I am a better educated person for the time I spent considering his ideas, reasoning and criticisms. Seth’s sudden absence in my daily routine will be felt for a very long time. His inspiration and the example he set will be with me always.

  71. Amy, you might be the wrong person to do this, but you or someone Seth would have trusted should try to take some of his blog posts and papers and turn them into a book. Seth was a thinker, and for such people a book is the ultimate testament to their lives.

  72. I’m sad to hear the news. I didn’t know Seth personally. I visited the blog often. Seth’s ideas have had a great effect on my life. Especially the morning faces.

  73. How very sad. Seth made a big difference to my life, as he did for so many others.

    Amy, I’m so sorry for your loss.

  74. Seth Roberts.

    A man I often had a question for and was always honored and surprised that he had questions for me. A truly insatiably curious man, the very definition of a man in my eyes.

    When I did my AHS11 presentation, he was the first person to the microphone for the Q&A. Every now and then, I’d get an email asking if and when I was going to blog about some thing or the other that I had said (and forgotten) I would blog about.

    He probably had 3×5 cards or something to keep track. 🙂

    What a tragedy. What a loss.

  75. Like all the others posting here, I was stunned to read of Seth’s passing. What a vibrant, questioning, questing voice that has now gone silent. I too checked in daily to read the latest posting — a habit that will be very difficult to give up. Thanks to all his friends and family for nurturing that inquisitive, productive mind. RIP, Seth Roberts.

  76. My deepest condolences to you and your family. I am one of the many who did not know Seth personally but avidly followed his blog and occasionally entered the fray of the comments section. There are a zillion blogs out there, but Seth’s so enriched my life that, from the time I discovered it, I made it a daily ritual to check in– and was almost always astonished by whatever he had posted, and astonished at his continuing generosity. Seth’s creativity, courage, generosity, and quest for excellence were truly an inspiration to me–and so many others. His passing is a great loss.

  77. Dear Amy,
    I cannot imagine what your family is going through right now. I am one of the many people (all of us strangers) who tried to help Seth. I called 911, and was on the phone with them until the medics and fire came. I am available to you and your family with a very open heart and with great sadness for your loss. Please contact me if you would like to. I am so very sorry. I have been thinking about your family, hoping to let you know that I am available if I can help with anything around closure, but not knowing how to contact anyone, since Saturday.
    In humanity,

  78. I am shocked and horrified. Seth Roberts was responsible for 20 pounds of personal weight-loss for me via Shangri-La, and when I reported that the diet mysteriously stopped working after that, he personally Skyped and emailed with me on suggestions trying to get it working again. His personal spirit of investigation was an inspiration to all of us and is probably to some extent responsible for my trying to compose my own ketogenic Soylent now. I’m sad.

  79. Just stunned at this terrible news. Though I knew him only from this blog, it was obvious Seth was a brilliant and courageous guy with a unique perspective to share.

    My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

  80. Amy and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I had many an interesting conversation with Seth, and have enjoyed his blog very much. I will be thinking of your family and wishing you peace.

  81. I came to Seth’s blog every day. He greatly enriched my life with his many unique approaches to life’s problems. I will miss him greatly.

  82. This is so sad. I will miss his writings very much. Every day that I fired up my RSS reader, I would check for his posts first and many in my family have seen an email from me with a link to his postings. He was a seeker of truth. I wish the best to his family and close friends.

  83. This is really tragic. I am a long time reader and his blog was a never ending source of inspiration. Thanks Seth

  84. My condolences to the family. Seth’s ideas, curiosity, and compassion helped and inspired me and so many others. I’d hoped to meet him in Beijing some day. This is quite a loss to the world, that Seth left us so soon.

  85. Very tragic. I’ve been think about this all day. I didn’t know him personally but his blog was probably the most inspirational one that I follow. He’ll be missed.

  86. To Amy and all other family members, I am so sorry to hear of Seth’s passing.

    What a bold and imaginative thinker he was. I always looked forward to his postings.

    He cared very deeply about finding the truth about things, about what are the causes of illnesses, and truly about evidence-based treatments. I learned so much from his references and observations and speculations. Who can fill such shoes? We need more people like Seth.

  87. Amy, Please accept my very deepest condolences. I spoke with your brother a few times and carried on several email “conversations” with him – the last just a few days ago. I thought he was a brilliant man ahead of his time. I hope you and the rest of your family and Seth’s close friends can find some solace in the fact he discovered so much, helped so many people in his far too short life. You are in my prayers.

  88. My condolences to you and the rest of the family, Amy. I checked the blog every day or two because Seth’s posts were always stimulating.

  89. Amy, I’m so very sorry to hear the sad news. Seth was a dear friend to me and my sons. Let me know if I can help in any way. Take care.

  90. RIP. I am so sorry to hear of this.

    I feel it as a personal loss as well. I only recently learned of this site. I have done a lot of my own personal health experiments but have gotten mostly open hostility from the world over trying to share that info. I had hoped to talk with him but could not readily find an email and then got busy with life. I feel like another door has closed and nothing will ever come of what I have learned other than my own improved health.

  91. Such sad, sad news. I didn’t know Seth, but I read his blog all the time. There were many things I learned from his writing and self-experiments that improved my health. My sincere condolences to his family.

  92. I wish Seth’s loved ones the best. He provided such a valuable platform for new ideas to be explored and information to be shared. His thirst for understanding was contagious, I always looked forward to his posts. I hope he was at peace in the end.



  93. I followed Seth’s blog for years and, like so many others, benefited from his approach to science and knowledge. Not just from his personal experiments, but from the ideas he was open to. His blog led me to Nikoley’s and to Dr Sarno (Healing Back Pain) and a complete cure of 20 years of back pain. Free. No drugs no surgery — just thinking. Truly life changing.

    We became friends here in Beijing, where I teach at the university just down the road from his Tsinghua. Amy, if there is anything that needs to be done in Beijing I am happy to do it (steve.hansen@gmail.com). My condolences.

  94. Amy, my sincere condolences. I was lucky enough to work with Seth on The Shangri-La Diet. As an editor and a friend, I will miss him deeply. Seth was one of a kind, and a great inspiration.

  95. I have never met Seth in person but corresponded with him, spoke with him a couple of times on the phone, and read several of his academic research papers. I encountered a smart, gracious gentleman, who was willing to entertain novel ideas. I am very grateful for having encountered him and deeply regret hearing about his passing away.

  96. Seth,
    You were a great thinker and blogger. I read your blog everyday, for insight, outrage and sometimes a laugh. Thank for helping us all look past conventional wisdom, question all the bad answers out there and actually supply some good ones of your own. You helped me certainly and I know many others. Thanks for the quick responses to emails. I found myself thinking “Seth would like this” when I found a gem on the internet. I’ll still think that.
    I’m really sad about your passing.
    All the best to your family and friends.


  97. Can’t believe he’s gone.

    Somebody wrote above that Seth “cared very deeply about finding the truth about things”.

    This was my experience also.

    Thanks Seth, and farewell.

  98. Amy – Like man others, I am stunned and shocked by this news. I’ve known Seth since we met back in 1978 – when he first joined the UC Berkeley Psychology Department as a young assistant professor and I was a second-year grad student. I think Seth introduced me to you during that early period. We had a long, fascinating friendship that lasted right up to last Thursday, when we were trading emails about the OPTIMA breast cancer trial I’d just joined. I will always remember him for his refreshing, honest outlook on scientific research and his love of experimentation – including wild and wacky projects with food and exercise – as long as I live. He will be deeply missed by me and no doubt man others.

  99. My condolences to the family. I discovered Seth’s blog and writings early this year. I loved his theories and his experimental approach. It’s sad that such a brilliant scientist and self-experimenter is gone. This kind of tragic loss really forces you to put things into perspective. We still have a lot to learn and we need to approach the quest for the ultimate health truth-if such thing exists–with humility, positivity and patience. For, even the best of us aren’t infallible.
    Seth, thank you for your work and experiments, for making it available to others and for improving the lives of many. You will be missed. May you rest in peace.

  100. I never met Seth, but his work changed my life for the better. His spirit lives on in each of us who is healthier, happier, and more curious because of him.

  101. Hi Amy, I’m an student from Tsinghua University and Positive Psychology Center at UPenn. Seth has always been my favorite professor, since the very first lesson. I’m flying to San Francisco today. Would it be possible for you to let me see his last place? I appreciate your help. Please contact me at lixingyu1993@hotmail.com, if at all possible. Thank you.

  102. My ongoing life is diminished because I will never again get to click with anticipation because ‘Seth has a new post!’.

    Although I am not religious, i hope against hope that Seth is somewhere now happily observing his new situation, already trying to figure everything out.

    Miss you already, Seth.

  103. I am so sorry Seth is gone. His keen intellect, courage and imagination are all too rare. He was a great influence on how I live and see the world. My heartfelt conddolences to his mother and family.

  104. What a terrible, horrible loss!

    I had just emailed with Seth on Friday night putting the finishing pieces on a piece I was writing on how self experimentation had improved me in sleep.

    Not only had Seth’s ideas been the original impetus for my sleep improvement, but he had also mentored me in the design and data analysis in R of my self experimentation, and also been a fabulous corespondent and entertaining writer.

    I’ll miss Seth in all these ways:

    – As a generator of novel ideas
    – As perhaps the most rigorous thinker in QS around design & data analysis
    – As an entertaining blogger
    – As a friendly, approachable corespondent

    What a gigantic loss. Thanks, Seth, for all you did.

  105. Seth was a great man, an independent and fearless thinker, a person of integrity. But above all he was a loyal friend.
    A huge, huge loss.

  106. Amy,

    I am sorry for your loss. Seth was a truly gifted person and we collectively won’t be the same without him. Tonight, we will have a heavier heart, I know I will.

    Godspeed Seth.

  107. How very sad. Seth made a big difference to my life, as he did for so many others.

    Amy, I’m so sorry for your loss.

  108. Hi All,
    I am so stunned and saddened by Seth Roberts’ death. We’d been friends since 1997 and had many fascinating conversations. He helped me in so many ways.

    Specifically, his Pavlovian analysis of weight control and his crucial insight that consuming calories with little or no flavor would reduce hunger, enabled me to lose, on average, about 20% of my weight and keep it off over the past 15 years. Shortly after I first met him I described my problems with over-eating and pigging out on sweets and fats. He stunned me when he said, “Interesting that no one ever pigs out on fruits and vegetables.” Interesting indeed!

    And his insistence that if I stopped being a night person and went to bed earlier, and tried to get morning sunlight, my baseline mood would improve, turned out to be true, and did far more than anything else to help me come out of depression.

    I learned so much from Seth — about how to think and how to listen. He was the most intellectually fearless and tenacious person that I’ve known. He used his brilliance to attack very core problems that caused a great deal of human suffering — obesity, sleep problems, depression — and came up with concrete solutions that truly helped people. His blog was also a site through which many interesting ideas were funneled. He delighted in being able to help people. He was scientific in the best sense — science is simply a method of being rigorously and flexibly sensible and intelligent and open; it was a joy to watch Seth become intellectually excited and pounce upon an idea, a finding, a realization. He became possessed and fascinated at such times. He was unafraid to ask questions or appear dumb.

    He had such a freshness of mind that at times he appeared to start all over from scratch in approaching a problem and re-think it. I once told him of research about how to improve one’s memory; he said that he did not want a better memory. His ability to forget and see things freshly was part of his creativity.

    I knew him mostly in Berkeley, but more recently in China where we both taught at Tsinghua. In November of last year, I had dinner with Seth and three of his Tsinghua students — it was apparent how much they liked and admired him, and how much he appreciated them. One student said to me, “His students love him.” He frequently spoke and blogged about the brilliance and decency of his students at Tsinghua.

    Ten days before his death we had dinner in Berkeley. He said he wanted to write 8 hours a day until September when he returned to China; he was excited about starting a column on personal science for the New York Observer. The world is worse off without him in so many ways.

    He had a sweetness that was both personal and intellectual. He had so much more to give to the world, so much more to teach us — it is so sad that we will be deprived of Seth. He was a truly original thinker; such people are rare.

    A certain original sweetness and a certain original brilliance has left us.

    My condolences go out to everyone who knew him.
    Timothy Beneke

  109. I always appreciated that he listened to students and lay people with the same respect and attention that he accorded to other researchers. Truly a loss.

  110. I am so sorry to hear of Seth’s passing. I learned a great deal from him. So many of us will carry a small piece of him with us, and to us, he lives on in this way.

    Please everyone, be respectful.

  111. After a long time following his blog, I met Seth once, last fall at Nefeli Cafe on UC Berkeley’s Northside. We discussed ideas for personalizing courses at Berkeley so that students would learn better.

    Seth was one of those very rare men who genuinely personified the cliche “thinking outside of the box” instead of mouthing the words. It was brilliant of him to look past his field’s staid view of the scientific method to the little-explored question of how to generate hypotheses worth testing. His arguments for why self-experimentation can accomplish some things that large controlled intervention studies cannot accomplish are dead-on. And I have to admire his powers of observation, both in spotting interventions that seem utterly unlikely (in weight loss, depression, mental performance, etc.), and in finding ways to motivate the students in his courses to give unique performances.

    I’m as stunned as anyone that he died so young. Is there anyone else who thinks like he did?

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  113. RIP Seth – you were a unique person with a great message that you lived. You’ve changed a lot of lives and I just wanted to thank you.

    Condolences to Amy & Family

  114. My condolences to Seth’s family. As is evident by responses here and across the Internet, Seth impacted many people’s lives in profound ways.

    While not the only way, Seth did an interview once with a blogger about Uggs. That interview got me thinking about creating a blog about minimalist footwear — FiveFingers, specifically — as I was looking for other blogging outlets outside my of my (considerably less focused!) personal site. The result was BirthdayShoes.com, which has reached a few million eyeballs over the last five years and changed my life in many, many ways. Oh how the ripples grow!

    Seth once asked me why I blogged and while the reasons are many, his death makes one extremely poignant: your life scales to touching the lives of others in ways you can barely realize. Thank you, Seth, for changing my life in so many ways.

  115. My deepest condolences to your family. Seth was my teacher in Tsinghua University. His ideas were always brilliant and inspiring. He’s my favorite professor since the very first lesson. I will miss him.

  116. I’m really sorry to hear this. He was a great guy–even though I never met or corresponded with him, it was thanks to his blog that I was able to stop taking prescription sleep medication. (Vitamin D in the morning makes a huge difference.) His blog also introduced me to the wonderful paintings of Red Hong. I know he’s helped a lot of people, and he seemed totally resistant to dogmatic thinking. What an awesome guy.

  117. My condolences to Seth’s family. I can’t claim to have known him personally, but I have loved this blog for being so consistently fascinating, literate, and civil: a rare thing in the wilds of the internet. I’ll miss it.

    May his memory be eternal.

  118. My condolences to Seth’s family. I know him in 2010 when he gave a talk at Tsinghua about his self-experiments of changing diets. I was an undergraduate there and very intrigued by his thesis. After that I came to talk to him about my acnes and I thought maybe I could try to identify the reasons for it by adopting his methods. Then we started a spreadsheet to track my diet, sleeping time and other potential factors. I remember it was not easy to get omega 3 oil in Beijing and sometimes he got some for me. I guess there were so many other factors than diet playing role in this experiment and I moved to Shenzhen later in 2010, so we never went deep into the data and analysis. I was a journalism major in undergrad but used quant models to do my thesis. He was surprised at first but then he wrote long emails listing why journalists should learn statistics. Working with him definitely changed my way of thinking and his intellectual curiosity is always an inspiration. I just wish I could have spent more time chatting with him and know him better. RIP Seth.

  119. Shocked and saddened to learn of Seth’s passing. Condolences to his family and friends. Seth’s unique intellect found insights which improved many lives and will doubtless help still more people as others learn of his work. That he won’t be continuing this work is a loss to all.

    On a personal level, Seth generously spoke and corresponded with me on several occasions which I greatly appreciated. I had always thought I would have another chance to get his thoughts on his work, or have a chance to meet in person. I hope his blog will continue as a legacy and tribute.

  120. Amy,

    Although I never knew Seth he touched my life through his discoveries – every morning I wake up more refreshed due to what he learned and shared.

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

  121. How tragic. What more is there to say? Seth was a rare independent thinker and I have every confidence that many of his hypotheses will be decisively confirmed in the long run. In the meanwhile, his legacy lives on in all those he inspired. RIP.

  122. I’m stunned. Seth was a bright light.

    I sat in on his Psych 1 class when I was 17 and followed his career since then, including interviewing him for a paper.

    He was one of my heroes and role models.

  123. So astonishing! Seth is a great teacher, I still remember my first course in Tsinghua, he taught us “Current topics in Psychology”. He is really really great! RIP. Miss u forever.><

  124. Seth and I became interested in each other’s research about thirty-five
    years ago, when he was a graduate student at Brown. In the years
    since then we were collaborators and friends. (Each of us has
    attested to how much we learned from the other.) I followed his
    work in detail, and as you’ll see from my comments elsewhere
    his scientific accomplishments, I admired them greatly. Except for
    occasional visits, our interchanges were long-distance ones, phone
    or email. We discussed many topics — from how to make thicker
    yogurt to the fairest procedure in considering a tenured professor
    for dismissal. And of course, various aspects of science.

    My interactions with Seth contributed greatly to the enjoyment of
    my scientific life. I am deeply grateful for all that he gave me.
    Hearing about his untimely death, another friend said: “What a
    tragedy. I am so sorry to hear that. I know he was a dear friend
    of yours and a kind of intellectual child. And such a brilliant
    and brave intellect. This must leave a hole in your world.”

    Indeed, it does.

  125. Seth featured me once. We exchanged e-mails and a few calls. He helped me cope with my bipolar which I am forever grateful. I will be missing him. I checked this blog first thing every morning. I’m so sad we lost a true original. My thoughts and prayers are with you Amy.

  126. One of Seth’s oldest friends today sent an email to Seth’s address inquiring about a comment she posted but it hadn’t appeared on the blog. I then realized that there were many more comments awaiting approval. Now they are. We are truly touched by your comments and I know Seth would have loved reading them, too. (I hope he is.)

    As soon we have more information about Seth, we will share it. I can be reached at twoutopias.amy@gmail.com. Please note that while I will read your emails, I will not be able to reply to all.

    Thank you.

  127. Dear Amy,

    I am so sorry to hear about Seth’s passing. I send healing wishes to you and family. You probably remember me from Tam, where I first met Seth – the brightest kid in a group of very bright classmates. He and I connected from time to time over the years, although not enough and not recently. I was always intrigued by his research and I will follow up via the links on this blog.

    At this sad time, the outpouring of sympathy and support from so many people who benefited from knowing Seth and his work is a wonderful tribute.

  128. I am another long-time reader of the blog who has never commented before. Seth was a very special person. I am sure there are thousands like me who never met him but who will greatly miss him.

  129. This is incredibly sad news. I’ve been a reader of Seth’s blog (and book) for many years. I didn’t know him personally, beyond brief interactions online. His curiosity, intellect and unconventional ideas have been very inspirational. All the best to those around him. He will be remembered.

  130. RIP Seth. Thank you for the inspiration and courage to live your life without the shackles of science, a true explorer. You will be missed.

  131. Very sad to hear this news. Seth’s self experiments were an inspiration. He will be missed. Blessings to his family and friends at this time.

  132. I am stunned. My condolences to Seth’s family and friends.
    I was following his blog for many years and I admired him for the unconventional ideas, self-experimentation and original research and blog posts. I was inspired by him. I feel so sorry. Even though i didn’t knew him personally I will miss him. RiP Seth.

  133. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Seth was the light to me since many year. I have learned so much from him and all the followers comments.
    As some earlier wrote, when emailing a question Seth responded very quickly
    I hope you will fins a way to keep the site up, as there is so much wonderful work and articles here posted by Seth
    We will miss him very much. RIP SETH

  134. I followed Seth’s blog religiously for the past several years. It was among the first things I read everyday. I learnt a lot from his thoughts on general science and personal science, on how to learn, and even on how to sleep soundly on airplanes! He was someone who never let anything get in the way of his pursuit of the verifiable truth. He was indeed a searchlight of a man, who illuminated many things with simple experiments backed by profound questions! May he rest in peace. I will greatly miss him.

  135. I’m going to miss Seth; I’ve been reading his blog daily for several months. He convinced me to try skipping breakfast (something I had never tried before), looking at faces in the morning instead of being surly and avoiding eye contact, and eating honey or other carbs before bed to improve sleep. His recent posts on Omega-3’s were also very interesting to me.

    My condolences to all his family, friends, and followers.

  136. I am terribly sorry to hear about Seth. I have read his blog for years and will miss him and his ideas enormously. My condolences to all of you who knew him personally – he is someone I had always hoped to meet.

  137. My deepest condolences. I too am shocked. Whenever I was tired by all the dogma around me, I opened his blog, read some of his entries and suddenly everything was more bearable.

    Jan from Slovakia/Austria

  138. I was stunned when I opened the blog a few days ago and saw the news. I didn’t know or correspond with Seth but I read his original paper that eventually became the SLD book and followed his blog whenever possible. He was brilliant and so good at puncturing inflated claims made by the medical establishment. I always wanted to tell him that most of the things he did for himself did not work for me at all but he taught me how to find the things that do.

    The world needs a lot more people like Seth. My deepest condolences to the family and friends. And please let us know what happened.

  139. Seth’s dedication to science regardless the outcome meant so much to me. We corresponded a few times and even spoke over the phone once. He was so amazingly pleasant and caring. I’m terribly saddened for the loss.

    He was a hero in my eyes.


  140. I’ve followed Seth’s blog for years and always admired his critical thinking, curiosity and lack of complacency to blindly accept conventional wisdom. It’s so hard to believe he is gone.

    I guess part of me wishes that he really hasn’t died, that this was another QS “experiment” of Seth’s … to see how many web hits could be generated quoting from a single 50-word post (“Hello, this is Seth’s sister, Amy, with the sad news…”) without any other corroborating sources such as published obituaries, mortuary listings, a Berkley press release, a hospital reference or news articles from even a small or local newspaper, an alumni newsletter, other public family statements … anything. But I’ll keep watching and keep google-ing, hoping it’s just a bad dream.

  141. I have, admittedly, only a vague sense of awareness when someone mentioned to me that he had died. Regardless, I’m sorry to hear of his passing – every death leaves an emotional tear in the fabric of friends. No mention of a couple of things: how old was he when he died, and what was the cause of death?

  142. These are really bad news!
    I hope this is not some side effect from the self-experimentation – I remember some study stating that too high Omega-3-dosage could lead to epileptic seizures (but never found that study again).

    Most important: My condolesence to you, Amy, and the rest of Seths family and friends! Seth will be missed!!

  143. Amy and family, I just stopped by to say that I am thinking of you, I know how sad it is to lose a brother. I hope you are having some comfort in the number of lives your brother has touched, and that you feel joy in the number of people he has changed and incluenced. I continue to miss Seth, and hold you all in my thoughts. I wish you peace.

  144. Dr. Seth Roberts. A man of action, looking for sound evidence to help millions of people improve their health. His spirit will live on in all those who are curious, willing to self-experiment, and question what the truth is. He will be deeply missed. Amen.

  145. This is truly heart-breaking news. Such a loss.

    Two things always amazed me about Seth.

    First, that he was such an original thinker — really, truly, genuinely original, in a deep and intelligent way.

    Second, that he managed to remain so optimistic and so cheerful! He did this despite facing the incomprehension and neglect which comes from being so original. I am sure he could have made his life much easier, professionally, by doing work that was more conventional. But he did not.

    In this way, he has been a model to me both intellectually and emotionally, a model I do not expect to live up to.

    I was working on a project that I was very keen to share with him (an app inspired by his blog posts on Magic Dots), and it’s hard to believe now I will never have the chance to show him.

    I am sure his passing is a great loss not only for us but for the many people who do not know him at all, but certainly would have benefited from his curiosity and his courage.

  146. I am shocked and saddened. My heartfelt condolences to Seth’s family, and to the world at large, which has lost an innovative,creative, courageous man. He will be missed.

  147. Seth!
    I just learned tonight why you failed to show up on the 26th of April as we had planned. I didn’t want to bug you so I didn’t call or email to ask what happened. Now I know. I finally sent an email tonight asking if you were alright–’cause it wasn’t like you to disappear. I am in shock to know that my worse fears are true.

    Seth came to see me after the publication of The Chair in 1998. No other colleague sought me out on the basis of ideas. Turns out we were both Reedies, and I proposed that we teach a course together, “The office of the future” (which we thought of as neolithic). We did, twice, once with others from the business school, “The Post-Dilbert Office.” We were both interested in nutrition and food and ate together in NYC and the Bay area intermittently. We had dinner at the new restaurant that replaced O Chame on April 24. He offered to help me with some computer issues on the afternoon of the 26th.

    Seth, my friend, this is your friend Galen, saying farewell–and re-opening to the depth of appreciation I have for you. You’d love the book I’m reading now. Dang, I wish we could talk about it after you read it.

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