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2009 John Frederick Lewis Award

Autumn General Meeting
Stephen G. Brush

The American Philosophical Society awarded the 2009 John Frederick Lewis Award to Stephen G. Brush for his book Choosing Selection: The Revival of Natural Selection in Anglo-American Evolutionary Biology, 1930-1970. The award was presented by Mary Patterson McPherson, Executive Officer of the Society.

Stephen Brush worked at he Lawrence Livermore Laboratory from 1959-1965. He then went to Harvard, where he was a member of the Harvard Project Physics and was a lecturer in Physics and the History of Science until 1968. From 1968 to 2006 he was at the University of Maryland in University Park with a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Institute for Physical Science & Technology. He retired in 2006 and holds the title Distinguished University Professor of the History of Science Emeritus.

His book Choosing Selection: The Revival of Natural Selection in Anglo-American Evolutionary Biology, 1930-1970 discusses evolution, Darwin, and natural selection in the twentieth-century Anglo-American biological community. Dr. Brush examines the beliefs and theories of prominent biologists and evolutionists, including Ronald Fisher, Sewall Wright, Theodosius Dobzhansky, and Ernst Mayr.

In 1935 the Society established the John Frederick Lewis Award with funds donated by his widow. The award recognizes the best book or monograph published by the Society in a given year.

The selection committee consisted of Glen W. Bowersock (chair), Professor Emeritus of Ancient History, Institute for Advanced Study; Helen F. North, Centennial Professor Classics Emerita, Swarthmore College; and Noel M. Swerdlow, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and Astrophysics and of History, University of Chicago.