The London School of Economics and Political Science announces that the 2010 Lakatos Award, of £10,000 for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science, goes to:



Peter Godfrey-Smith (Harvard University), for his book Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection (Oxford University Press, 2009).



The book develops a new analysis and extension of Darwin’s idea of natural selection – one that draws on new developments in philosophy of science, biology and other fields. The central concept involved is that of a “Darwinian population,” a collection of things with the capacity to undergo change by natural selection. From this starting point, new analyses of the role of genes in evolution, the application of Darwinian ideas to cultural change, and “evolutionary transitions” that produce complex organisms and societies are developed.

Lakatos Award Lecture

2 June 2011, 6.00pm

Wolfson Theatre, London School of Economics

The Evolution of the Individual

Evolution produces not only new species of plants and animals, but also new forms of biological organization. The cell and the multicellular organism are two examples. These are different kinds of biological individuals. Some writers have seen a progressive tendency here; they think that evolution produces things with more “individuality” as time passes. In this lecture, Peter Godfrey-Smith will propose a new way to think about individuality in the history of life, focusing especially on the relationships between metabolic units and evolutionary units.