We speak to evolutionary biologist and historian of science Prof Lee Dugatkin about displays of altruism in insects, animals and humans, and how the often harsh evolutionary imperatives of survival can actually accommodate, promote or depend on acts of kindness and justice.
Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.
Virtually everything you do on an everyday basis involves some sort of act of altruism. -- Prof Lee Dugatkin
Full transcript and more information available here.
Dr Lee Alan Dugatkin is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Biology at The University of Louisville (USA). His main areas of research interest are the evolution of social behavior, and the history of science. 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. Dr. Dugatkin has published three books on the evolution of cooperation: Cooperation among Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective, Oxford University Press, 1997; Cheating Monkeys and Citizen Bees, The Free Press, 1999; and The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness, Princeton University Press, 2006. He is also the author of two textbooks: Principles of Animal Behavior (W.W. Norton, 3rd edition, April 2013) and Evolution (co-authored with Carl Bergstrom, WW Norton, 2nd edition, 2016), as well as a number of popular books, including Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose (The University of Chicago Press, 2009).