Since David Sloan Wilson implemented the first undergraduate evolutionary studies (EvoS) program at Binghamton University about a decade ago, the notion of Darwin’s Big Idea guiding educational experiences across academic areas has led to significant advances in how we conceptualize higher education. EvoS allow students to learn the basic principles of evolution – and apply these principles to help them understand content areas across academic departments. Anthropology, Art, Biology, English, Geology, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and more!
Make no mistake – Darwinism genuinely is this powerful – and allows for connections among such disparate phenomena as to why maple seeds pods are shaped like excellent helicopter blades, why sex differences in physical size in so many species exist, why genuine smiles are recognized nearly perfectly across human cultures as manifestations of happiness. And more. Lots more. Darwin’s idea that connects the entirety of life – coupled with David Sloan Wilson’s idea of evolution connecting all areas within higher education – form the foundation of EvoS.
Now more than 40 colleges and universities across the globe have an EvoS program with some level of participation. And it’s time to take stock and plan for the future.
If your schedule allows, I strongly urge you to attend the summit of the international EvoS Consortium we have planned for 10/26/2012 at SUNY New Paltz.
This event, which will be FREE FOR ALL STUDENTS (and only $30 for professionals), will include presentations from some of the top minds – across the globe – on the topic of evolution education. Speakers will include Rosemarie Sokol Chang of the APA, Gordon Gallup of Albany, Paul Bingham and Joanne Souza of Stonybrook, and David Sloan Wilson of Binghamton – among several others with significant insights to share regarding the future of evolution in higher education.
The full schedule is found here – and note that at the time of this posting, proposals for poster presentations on any topics related to evolution – broadly defined – are being considered for inclusion in the program (guidelines on submission found here).
Our business meeting will focus on discussions of grants to help expand this initiative across the SUNY System – and beyond. Further, we’ll devote time to our collaboration with evolutionary icon Robb Wolf, whose work on nutrition and fitness from an evolutionary perspective represents the very best of how evolution can help us lead longer, happier, and better-informed lives. And, btw, for the Ancestral Health folks out there, you don’t want to miss Hamilton Stapell’s talk (4:00-4:30) : Evolution and Human Health: EVO 201 and Connections with Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution!
If you care about evolution education – or the future of what members of our species will learn about the nature of life – I strongly urge you to attend. And bring your students. And your professors. And your friends. And your mom and dad. etc.
Check your calendar – let me know if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!