Wendy Northcutt

Wendy Northcutt

American pharmacologist and writer
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Wendy Northcutt
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. The 'Darwin Awards' Project
  4. Selection Criteria
  5. Continued Success

Biography of Wendy Northcutt

Wendy Northcutt is an American pharmacologist and writer, best known as the official leader of the 'Darwin Awards' project. She has dedicated her work to analyzing and preserving the most foolish and senseless human actions for future generations.

Early Life and Education

Wendy Northcutt obtained her degree in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She gained valuable experience working in one of the laboratories at Stanford University. With a strong background in science, Northcutt approached her chosen project, the 'Darwin Awards,' as a serious scientific endeavor.

The 'Darwin Awards' Project

The 'Darwin Awards' project traces its roots back to the Usenet groups of the mid-1980s. However, it wasn't until 1993 that Wendy Northcutt officially launched the Darwin Awards website and obtained copyright for the term 'Darwin Awards.' Despite having some commercial elements, the project focuses mainly on the analysis and preservation of the most foolish and nonsensical deeds, directly related to the theory of natural selection.

Selection Criteria

Wendy Northcutt developed five criteria for the 'Darwin Awards.' First, the candidate must have completely eliminated their chances of reproducing, either by ending their own life or losing their reproductive abilities. Second, the action must go beyond ordinary foolishness, requiring an extraordinary level of stupidity. Third, the candidate must have willingly and exclusively inflicted the stupidity upon themselves, excluding victims of other people's actions.

Continued Success

The fourth criterion is that the candidate, considering their age and mental state, should theoretically be capable of understanding the consequences of their actions. Lastly, the story must be confirmed by a reliable source. Wendy Northcutt's strict criteria have filtered out many urban legends but have also managed to validate some remarkable tales.

In 2000, Wendy Northcutt published her first book, which was a challenging process due to publishers demanding the removal of stories from the website. Eventually, a compromise was reached, and the debut book became a tremendous success, even making it onto the 'New York Times' bestseller list. Northcutt continues to release books about the most outstanding winners of the Darwin Awards to this day.