MacArthur Fellows Program

Stephen Jay Gould

Paleontology | Class of June 1981

Cambridge, Massachusetts
40 at time of award
May 20, 2002
Published June 1, 1981

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.

Select News Coverage of Stephen Jay Gould
March 17, 2002
"Stephen Jay Gould Wants an Evolution Revolution"
The New York Times
Stephen Jay Gould , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
February 12, 2001
"The Mysteries of Life and the Universe"
Stephen Jay Gould , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
January 1, 2001
"Big Thinkers on Evolution"
Stephen Jay Gould , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
October 1, 1999
"Gould on God"
Boston Review
Stephen Jay Gould , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
December 12, 1987
"Opening an Inquiry that Elicits Creative Thinking"
Ideas in Conversation
Stephen Jay Gould , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
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