Gould's written legacy is prodigious - the unbroken series of 300 essays published in "Natural History" magazine, a clutch of books culminating in the monumental 1400 page "Structure of Evolutionary Theory", appearing just months before his death in 2002, and of course his academic papers. A committed Darwinian and robust critic of creationist myths, he nevertheless made major revisions to orthodox Darwinian theory, from his concept of punctuated equilibrium to his insistence on the importance of chance in the history of life on earth. And in addition, his trenchant attacks on scientific racism and the pretensions of sociobiology still resonate, nearly three decades after they were first written. In "The Richness of Life", Steven Rose and Paul McGarr have selected from across the full range of Gould's writing, including some of the most famous of his essays and extracts from his major books. An introduction by Steven Rose sets both the essays, and Gould's life, in context.
Stephen Jay Gould was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of geology at Harvard and the curator for invertebrate palaeontology in the university's Museum of Comparative Zoology. He died in May 2002. Steven Rose is Professor of Biology and Director of the Brain and Behaviour Research Group at The Open University, Visiting Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at University College London, and, jointly with sociologist Hilary Rose, Professor of Physic (genetics and society) at Gresham College, London. His books include The Making of Memory (1992), Lifelines (1997), Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology (with Hilary Rose) (2000) and The 21st-Century Brain (2004). Paul McGarr is a mathematics teacher in an east London secondary school and a leading member of the Respect coalition in Tower Hamlets. He is on the editorial board of the International Socialism quarterly journal and has written regularly for that journal on issues around science and society. He has written a number of articles and books, including Marxism and the Great French Revolution (1992) and Mozart: Overture to Revolution (2001).