Stephen Jay Gould, an expert on the evolution of land snails, sought to integrate the history of life with an expanded and more adequate version of evolutionary theory.
His research centered on critiques of the gradualist and adaptationist perspectives that dominated traditional Darwinian theory. Gould sought to modify Darwinian theory in order to depict evolutionary change among levels of selection rather than as a result of traditional selection upon organisms in their struggle for reproductive success. His awards include the National Book Award for The Panda’s Thumb (1980), the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Mismeasure of Man (1981), the Phi Beta Kappa Book Award for Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes (1983), and the Phi Beta Kappa Book Award and the Rhone-Poulenc Prize for Wonderful Life (1989). His numerous other works include Bully for Brontosaurus (1991), Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin (1996), The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002), The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister’s Pox: Mending the Gap Between Science and the Humanities (2003).
Gould was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University and the curator of invertebrate paleontology at the university’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Gould received an A.B. (1963) from Antioch College and a Ph.D. (1967) from Columbia University.
Last updated January 1, 2005.