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  • Rita Colwell pioneered the study of microbial ecology and genetics and served as Director of the National Science Foundation during 1998-2004. Her new book A Lab of Her Own: One Woman’s Personal Journey Through Sexism in Science tells two evolutionary stories. The first is the story of her career studying microbial genetic evolution, including diseases such as cholera and anthrax. The second is the story of cultural evolution and the lack thereof, such as entrenched sexism in science and the reluctance of the medical establishment to embrace new ideas. My conversation with Rita uniquely weaves these two themes of her book and life together into a single braid.

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Published On: August 16, 2020

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. 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 Society, Evolution 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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