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Universities as (Dys)functional Units:

A Multilevel Evolutionary Perspective

David Sloan Wilson, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology

Monday, February 6, 2017

5:15 pm, AA-G008


Abstract: Multilevel Selection (MLS) Theory is a powerful framework for studying the function and dysfunction of groups in both the biological and human social sciences. With numerous colleagues, I have used MLS theory to examine human institutions such as businesses, financial markets, the US Army, and nations. In this talk, I will use the same theoretical lens to examine universities as institutions that can work well or poorly, depending upon how they are structured. 


About the Speaker

David Sloan Wilson is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University and Arne Næss Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo. He applies evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the rest of life, both in his own research and as director of EvoS, a unique campus-wide evolutionary studies program that recently received NSF funding to expand into a nationwide consortium. His books include Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of SocietyEvolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives, and The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time and Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others. 

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Last Updated: 12/4/20