Richard Lewontin
#160 Overall Influence

Richard Lewontin

American evolutionary biologist

About

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Richard Lewontin is a geneticist, evolutionary biologist, mathematician, and commentator. He earned a B.S. in biology from Harvard College, a master’s degree in mathematical statistics, and a Ph.D. in zoology from Columbia University. Lewontin is best known for his work in theoretical and experimental population genetics.

In 1960, he worked with Ken-Ichi Kojima to become the first population geneticist to identify the equations for change of haplotype frequencies with interacting national selection at two loci. He has become a vocal advocate for his theories on evolutionary biology, which has earned him both acclaim and criticism. At times, he has appeared to be hampered by his political beliefs, perhaps unwilling to consider possibilities that did not comport with his worldview.

He has challenged the notion of inheritability of intelligence and other traits, feeling instead that the lifeform is an active participant in evolution and the environment, rather than a passive participant. He has also theorized that genetically modified crops were not created just to be better, but to also force farmers into having to buy new seeds every year, rather than to use the seeds created by their last crop.

In 2017, Lewontin was recognized by the Genetics Society of America, which awarded him their Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal.

Academic Website

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Schools

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University of Rochester
University of Rochester

Private, nonsectarian, research university in Rochester, New York, United States

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University of Chicago
University of Chicago

Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Harvard University
Harvard University

Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Columbia University
Columbia University

Private Ivy League research university in New York City

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North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University

Public research university in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

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Notable Works

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    Influence Rankings by Discipline

    How’s this person influential?
    #15 World Rank #6 USA Rank
    Biology
    #2239 World Rank #582 USA Rank
    Mathematics