Cambridge, Massachusetts & London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002. First Edition. Super octavo ( 26 x 17.7 cm), pp., xxii + 1,433 pages, black and white photographs, black and white line and tone illustrations throughout text, Part 1: Defining and Revising the Structure of Evolutionary Theory; The History of Darwinian Logic and Debate. Part II: Towards a Revised and Expanded Evolutionary Theory; Bibliography, Illustration Credits, Index. Bound in buff cloth with lettered spine panel in black and gold, dust jacket with full colour panels on front and spine and black and white photograph by Kathy Chapman of author on rear. Press reviews and clippings inserted in plain sheet at back of volume. As new. Item #864
The most important work on its subject since Charles Darwin, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory was published two months before the death of its author, Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), the influential American evolutionary biologist and historian of science. Gould and the American biologist and paleontologist Niles Eldredge proposed punctuated equilibria in 1972; Gould is best known for the theory of punctuated equilibrium, a refinement to evolutionary theory, proposing that most evolution, rather than involving phyletic gradualism (a gradual process of change), is characterised by long periods of evolutionary stability infrequently punctuated by swift periods of branching speciation.
Spending most of his career teaching at Harvard University, where he was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Gould was also a very widely read author of popular science, and his most serious intellectual work had mixed reviews from some academics in science. Gould himself was clear about the different audiences to which he addressed his popular and more prestigious publications. He was a MacArthur Prize Fellow and received many honours and awards. In 2001, the U.S. Congress named Stephen Jay Gould one of America’s eighty-three ‘living legends’.