Monday, September 9, 2013

Trends in Evolution

I recently submitted my article on "Trends in Evolution" to Macmillan Reference USA for an upcoming three-volume set on Modern Science.

I want to thank everyone who commented on the proposed figures here and here, and on facebook and twitter. The publisher has the option to publish some, all or none of the images I suggested, so I'll wait to tell you what I submitted until I learn their decision. Many thanks also to the people who read through the drafts and gave input: Scott Sayres, Linette Wilson, George Wilson, my friend Laura DePriest (thank you for the most extensive comments!) Also, thank you to Norman Johnson for bringing this opportunity to my attention!! As many times as I have been told that I should focus my time and energy on writing primary research manuscripts, I really enjoy communicating science, and talking with the public. Moreover, I genuinely feel that, as a scientist, I have a responsibility to communicate science.

I was allotted 1500 words to give an overview of Evolution, including its original objectives and participants, and a narrative of investigation, describing how it was carried out, and details on challenges, and discussing the future of the field. Another topic, "Natural Selection" was allotted 2500 words (wow!). In any case, here is the list of what the main sections ended up being (apologies to all of the awesome evolutionary science that was not included):
  • Trends in Evolution
  • The origin of evolutionary thought
  • DNA mutates, populations evolve
  • Evolution is more than “survival of the fittest”
  • Ancient genomes
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Personalized genomics
  • Where is evolution going? 
I'll give you one guess which was my favorite section to write. If you need a hint, see here, here, or here.

Currently the article is out for peer-review right now. If accepted, I will have the "non-exclusive" right to republish limited excerpts of the work, with permission, in a non-competitive publication. I think this blog is pretty non-competitive, so I'll be seeking permission to share it (or parts of it) here!

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