Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Evolution For Everyone

David Sloan Wilson’s Evolution For Everyone is a wonderful, important book on many levels.

The book contains the story of a beginning evolutionary biologist’s stories of interesting fieldwork, then becoming an “Evolutionist,” expanding the study of evolution beyond biology, which creates a strain when a new field of study threatens many practitioners of older fields of study.

The book tells the story of setting up and growing a population of practice in a new area, or significant rewards for many of the practitioners, and the value of looking at existing data from past experiments with a new point of view.

Along the way, Evolution For Everyone provides some fascinating insights into murder statistics in Chicago, what is beauty, what is laughter, and the purposes of dancing. I read that last night, and today my world is quite different.

Wilson is an optimistic writer, who clearly sees the revolution of academic publishing, taking advantage of new technologies to spread the news. He is a careful author, giving the reader a privileged ride.

As politicians speak mindlessly about the need of innovation, Evolution For Everyone is a case study of useful innovation happening right now.

Your comments appreciated!