The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution To Improve My City, One Block At A Time

Hardcover | August 24, 2011

byDavid Sloan Wilson

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After decades studying creatures great and small, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson had an epiphany: Darwin's theory won't fully prove itself until it improves the quality of human life in a practical sense. And what better place to begin than his hometown of Binghamton, New York? Making a difference in his own city would provide a model for cities everywhere, which have become the habitat for over half of the people on earth.

Inspired to become an agent of change, Wilson descended on Binghamton with a scientist's eye and looked at its toughest questions, such as how to empower neighborhoods and how best to teach our children. He combined the latest research methods from experimental economics with studies of holiday decorations and garage sales. Drawing upon examples from nature as diverse as water striders, wasps, and crows, Wilson's scientific odyssey took him around the world, from a cave in southern Africa that preserved the dawn of human culture to the Vatican in Rome. Along the way, he spoke with dozens of fellow scientists, whose stories he relates along with his own.

Wilson's remarkable findings help us to understand how we must become wise managers of evolutionary processes to accomplish positive change at all scales, from effective therapies for individuals, to empowering neighborhoods, to regulating the worldwide economy.

With an ambitious scope that spans biology, sociology, religion, and economics,The Neighborhood Projectis a memoir, a practical handbook for improving the quality of life, and an exploration of the big questions long pondered by religious sages, philosophers, and storytellers. Approaching the same questions from an evolutionary perspective shows, as never before, how places define us.

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After decades studying creatures great and small, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson had an epiphany: Darwin's theory won't fully prove itself until it improves the quality of human life in a practical sense. And what better place to begin than his hometown of Binghamton, New York? Making a difference in his own city would provi...

David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He is widely known for his fundamental contributions to evolutionary science and for explaining evolution to the general public. His books includeEvolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Live...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.75 × 6.5 × 1.5 inPublished:August 24, 2011Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316037672

ISBN - 13:9780316037679

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"Just as Charles Darwin had his finches and Jane Goodall her chimps, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson has his city as a subject of study in what has to be one of the most unique projects ever undertaken in the history of science. Through the lens of evolutionary theory we see not just Wilson's city of Binghamton, New York in a new light, we view all of humanity and civilization from a perspective unique in the annals of research, and written in an engaging style that carries the reader from one chapter to the next. A compelling read. An important book."-Michael Shermer is the publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University, and the author of Why Darwin Matters and The Mind of the Market