The Sigma Xi University of Toronto Chapter Distinguished Lecture Series
Professor Lee Dugatkin, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Louisville
Title: The Evolution of Goodness
Abstract: We humans often display acts of kindness and generosity. As it turns out, nonhumans are also good to one another, sacrificing to help those around them. But why? Why do both humans and animals show such altruistic, self-sacrificial behavior? Scientists and philosophers have long pondered these questions. In a fast-moving, action packed talk, I will bring us up-to-date on what we know and what we don’t know about the roots of goodness by focusing on both the fascinating history of this subject, which includes true stories that are the stuff of movies, and the latest, cutting edge research in the field of evolution and behavior, including my own work on altruism.
Biography: Prof. Dugatkin’s main area of research interest is the evolution of social behavior. He obtained a PhD in 1991 from SUNY at Binghamton in biology. His lab studies the evolution of cooperation, the evolution of aggression, the interaction between genetic and cultural evolution, the evolution of antibiotic resistance, and the evolution of risk-taking behavior. He is the author of over 150 articles on evolution and behavior in such journals as Nature, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and The Proceedings of The Royal Society of London. He has published three books on the evolution of cooperation which have been translated into German, Chinese, Korean and Japanese and Spanish. He is also the author of two textbooks: Principles of Animal Behavior (2004) and Evolution (2012). He has also written a number of popular books, including Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose (2009) and The Prince of Evolution (2011).
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