Raghavendra Gadagkar- Inclusive fitness theory and its discontents

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‘Inclusive Fitness Theory and its Discontents’

Professor Raghavendra Gadagkar,

Professor Raghavendra Gadagkar

In this talk I will address the recent ongoing controversy concerning the validity and utility of inclusive fitness theory, also commonly referred to as kin selection or Hamilton’s rule. In the first part of the talk I will describe my work which, using the South Indian paper wasp Ropalidia matginata as a model system and inclusive fitness theory as the guiding framework, has accomplished a rather successful test of Hamilton’s rule, resulting in a satisfactory explanation for the evolution of sociality and altruism, at least in this species. In the second part of the talk I will analyse the recent attack on inclusive fitness theory, attempt to articulate my minority view and explain why I welcome this attack and why I think our field will emerge stronger, provided we face the onslaught in a positive and constructive manner.

Date: Tuesday 27th September 2011, 18.30

Location: Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre (Wilkins Building, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT)