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William Hamilton

William Hamilton

H408/0310

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25.2 MB (1.1 MB compressed)

2482 x 3543 pixels

21.1 x 30.0 cm ⏐ 8.3 x 11.8 in (300dpi)

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Credit

JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

William Hamilton. British evolutionary biologist William Donald Hamilton (1936-2000). Hamilton read genetics at Cambridge University, England, before moving to London to work on his PhD. He worked on sexual selection in animals and the development of altruism and co-operation, especially in social insects. At Cambridge, he disagreed with the then popular theory that animals act "for the good of the species". Instead he said that animals act for the good of their own genes, which they share with relatives. He also theorised that sexual displays show females how fit and free from parasites males are. He died after falling ill in the Congo while studying the origin of AIDS. Photographed in 1996.

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