William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellows

Academic Year 2000-2001

Fall 2000

Michael Ghiselin is a Senior Fellow at the University Academy of Sciences and one of the pioneers of modern evolutionary theory. In Metaphysics and the Origin of Species (1997), Ghiselin addresses one of the fundamental problems that confronts biology and evolution—the definition and relation of individuals and species. The recipient of a 1981 MacArthur Price, Professor Ghiselin has long been recognized as a leader in the philosophy of biology. His talk at the Athenaeum centered on “Darwin’s Ancestors and Descendants.”

Spring 2001

David Hull is Dressler Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University. One of the leading philosophers of science of our time and the founder of the contemporary philosophy of biology, he has been president of the both the Philosophy of Science Association and the Society of Systematic Zoology. Hull is the author of numerous books including the recent Science and Selection (2001) and The Philosophy of Biology (1998). His Athenaeum talk was entitled “Deconstructing Darwin.”

Richard Lewontin is the Alexander Agassiz Research Professor of Biology at Harvard University. Lewontin has written widely and attempted to show precisely what biology and evolutionary theory can and cannot explain. His recent books include: The Triple Helix (2001) and It Ain’t Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions (2000). He presented at the Athenaeum on the great claims for the Human Genome Project being made by biologists and geneticists, titling his talk on the subject “Genomemania.”

Dame Gillian Beer is the King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at Cambridge University and President of Clare Hall. She specializes in exploring the relations between the cultures of science and literature, explaining the fundamental implications of Darwin’s work in relation to other diverse writers such as Shakespeare, Lucretius, and Wordsworth. Beer’s Open Fields: Science in Cultural Encounter (1996) addresses questions about the relations of science and literature; encompassing not only Darwin, but also Helmholz, Kelvin, Frazer, Tyndall, and Hopkins. She spoke at the Athenaeum on the topic “Darwin and the Former Giants.”