UK Happenings

Lewis Colloquium to feature author David Sloan Wilson Oct. 18

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The mission of the Lewis Honors College is to better the Commonwealth and the world by helping students to explore their purpose, develop intellectually and lead with integrity.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 4, 2023) — The first Lewis Colloquium this school year features David Sloan Wilson, Ph.D., an author, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University and founder of Prosocial World, whose mission is "to consciously evolve a world that works for all.”

The event will be held Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. in the Lewis Scholars Lounge.

During Wilson’s talk titled: “Generalized Darwinism: A New Paradigm for Positive Cultural Change," he will share how evolution’s survival of the fittest theory has moved from a presumption of selfishness toward a model that prioritizes social cooperation. 

Through Prosocial World, Wilson connects activists, idealists, pragmatists, visionaries and contemplative change agents with the science they need to intentionally evolve culture in positive ways. Attendees can expect to gain a deeper understanding of how evolutionary principles can inform our approach to cultural change, potentially shaping a more cooperative and compassionate world. “Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary,” Wilson claims.

The free public event is co-sponsored by the Lewis Honors College, the College of Arts and Sciences departments of biology and anthropology and the Gaines Center for the Humanities. Prior to the event, Wilson will hold a salon-style Q&A for students from 1-3 p.m. in the Jacobs Science Building, Room 161N. For students interested in learning how not only humans evolve through generations, Ann B. Clark, Ph.D., will be presenting “Through the Eyes and Lives of Crows: Opportunities and Challenges of Anthropogenic Change” Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. in the Thomas Hunt Morgan Building, Room 305.

Wilson’s books include "Atlas Hugged," "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," "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." For those interested, Wilson is holding a free online reading group for "Atlas Hugged" beginning Oct. 9.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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