Johnson County Science Cafe

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George Price and the Evolution of Altruism

Speaker: Paul Decelles – Johnson County Community College

Date: January 10, 2012

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Coaches Bar and Grill, 9089 W. 135th Street, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St.
Please note, this is a new location. Still Coaches, but they have moved

Ever since Darwin, biologists have puzzled over how evolution could favor the spread of “altruistic” behavior. The development of our understanding of this topic is itself a fascinating story. Orem Harman’s 2010 book, the Price of Altruism introduces us to one of the least known and yet important contributors to our understanding of the biology of altruism, George Price. Paul Decelles will use this book as a starting point to introduce some of the main controversies about the evolution of altruistic behavior and its implication for our species.

Paul Decelles is a biology professor at Johnson County Community College. His area of expertise is in population genetics and entomology, especially social insects. He did his undergraduate work at Cornell University, MS at the University of Georgia and PhD at the University of Kansas. He has been involved in Kansas science education issues especially related to the teaching of evolution and has served on the board of Kansas Citizen’s for Science.

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