A rewarding look at the life and work of a scientific genius,
This review is from: Nature's Oracle: The Life and Work of W.D.Hamilton (Hardcover)
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W.D. Hamilton contributed so much to his chosen scientific field - evolutionary biology - during the 20th century, yet prior to reading this book I'd never even consciously heard of him. Not even a cursory acknowledgement of his achievements in popular science books. Had you?
As a supporter of evolutionary theory, his lifetime's work has become much admired by the likes of Richard Dawkins. Dawkins has written some superb science popularisations, but has not achieved the greatness as a scientist of the much lesser-known man. Different times, I suppose - although Dawkins is a much greater attention-seeker (think honey and airports) than the sightly odd, self-effacing Hamilton ever was.
Author, Professor Ullica Segerstrale, goes into enormous detail concerning his working methods and how his sometimes lazy attitude was formed. However, she sometimes displays a gosh-wowery attitude at his sometimes relatively ordinary behaviour, presenting it as being unique.
Nevertheless, I'm very glad to have been introduced to the work of this titan by the fabulously well-qualified, and intelligent, Ms Segerstrale.