2015: David Sloan Wilson

Sloan Wilson is a distinguished professor of evolutionary sciences and anthropology at SUNY / Binghamton University, and America's leading evolutionary biologist.

For the past two decades he has worked on the role of cooperation and altruism in human evolution, and he is currently engaged in a project involving a cultural-evolutionary study of the ‘Norwegian model’. His latest book, Altruism, will be published in Norwegian in 2015.

David Sloan Wilson studies evolution in the same way that Darwin did – as a theory that applies to all aspects of humanity in addition to the biological world. He has made foundational contributions to evolutionary theory on topics such as multilevel selection and the nature of individual differences. There are many points of connection between Wilson’s research and Arne Naess’s work on peace, justice and the environment. Wilson's research on humans examines topics as diverse as altruism and fairness, decision-making, religion, economics, and business. 

Books and research projects

His books include, among others:

  • Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (with Elliott Sober,1997)
  • Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society (2002)
  • Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives (2007)
  • The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time (2011)
  • Does Altruism Exist? (2014)

Wilson directs several cutting-edge research programs. EvoS expands evolutionary training beyond the biological sciences in higher education. The Binghamton Neighborhood Project uses the city of Binghamton, New York as a field site for basic and applied research from an evolutionary perspective. This View of Life is an online magazine that reports “anything and everything” from an evolutionary perspective to the general public.

The Evolution Institute

The Evolution Institute is the first think tank to formulate public policy from a modern evolutionary perspective. One Evolution Institute project examines Norway as a case study of cultural evolution leading to a fair society and high quality of life.

Published Mar. 22, 2015 2:03 PM - Last modified Apr. 11, 2019 11:32 AM