In addition to being a “rock star” teacher of undergraduates at Stanford and a favorite faculty leader of Alumni Travel/Study excursions, Bill Durham is an internationally acclaimed human ecologist. His major contributions have been in the theory of coevolution in human populations, in the causes of scarcity and environmental degradation in Latin America, and in the dual challenges of conservation and community development in the tropics. He won a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (“genius grant”) in 1983, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Danforth, and National Science foundations.
Durham’s 1991 book, Coevolution: Genes, Cultural, and Human Diversity, has been called “one of the most important works of theory ever written by an anthropologist.” A creator of the coevolutionary approach to human diversity, Durham regards genes and culture as two parallel but distinct forms of information inheritance in human populations. Among Durham’s specialties is indigenous ecotourism, and his contributions to this field include co-founding the Center for Responsible Travel, and establishing a series of Field Seminars in the Stanford Alumni Travel/Study Program.
Professor Durham will be introduced by his distinguished colleague Russell Fernald, Professor of Biology, Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor of Human Biology, and an internationally recognized expert in the evolution of the visual and nervous systems in living organisms.
Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program and the Stanford Historical Society sponsor this series.
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