Student News

Wise Words from Professor Lewontin

Jessica Day – June 14, 2012

Harvard University Professor Emeritus Richard Lewontin served as the keynote speaker for the 2012 Deerfield Science, Math, and Technology Symposium. Professor Lewontin was a pioneer in evolutionary biology and founded the field of molecular evolution. Having been an undergraduate at Harvard, Lewontin earned his PhD at Columbia University under Theodosius Dobzhansky, one of the fathers of the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology. 

Professor Lewontin has been on the faculty at Harvard for 39 years and has published hundreds of primary research articles and dozens of books on genetics and evolutionary biology. He has also been a vocal critic of genetic determinism and its use in sociobiology, as well as debunking myths regarding the genetics of race. He now lives in Vermont and graciously accepted Deerfield’s invitation to join the Symposium. He spoke about the importance of science and research for the sake of exploration and discovery, rather than fame or monetary gain, and how having an agenda can lead to bias in scientific outcomes.