The Neighborhood Project by David Sloan Wilson
Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time

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I like and recommend it because every few pages, Wilson presents us with a nugget of information so crisply and accessibly put that, unless you are in the Sarah Palin demographic of incuriosity, you will, I promise, find it fascinating.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

After decades studying creatures great and small, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson had an epiphany: Darwin's theory won't fully prove itself until it improves the quality of human life in a practical sense. And what better place to begin than his hometown of Binghamton, New York? Making a difference in his own city would provide a model for cities everywhere, which have become the habitat for over half of the people on earth.

Inspired to become an agent of change, Wilson descended on Binghamton with a scientist's eye and looked at its toughest questions, such as how to empower neighborhoods and how best to teach our children. He combined the latest research methods from experimental economics with studies of holiday decorations and garage sales. Drawing upon examples from nature as diverse as water striders, wasps, and crows, Wilson's scientific odyssey took him around the world, from a cave in southern Africa that preserved the dawn of human culture to the Vatican in Rome. Along the way, he spoke with dozens of fellow scientists, whose stories he relates along with his own.

Wilson's remarkable findings help us to understand how we must become wise managers of evolutionary processes to accomplish positive change at all scales, from effective therapies for individuals, to empowering neighborhoods, to regulating the worldwide economy.

With an ambitious scope that spans biology, sociology, religion, and economics, The Neighborhood Project is a memoir, a practical handbook for improving the quality of life, and an exploration of the big questions long pondered by religious sages, philosophers, and storytellers. Approaching the same questions from an evolutionary perspective shows, as never before, how places define us.
 

About David Sloan Wilson

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David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He is widely known for his fundamental contributions to evolutionary science and for explaining evolution to the general public. His books include Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives, Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society, and Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (with Elliott Sober). In addition to his own research, Wilson manages programs that expand the scope of evolutionary science in higher education, public policy, community-based research, and the study of religion.
 
Published August 24, 2011 by Little, Brown and Company. 422 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Douglas Bell on Jan 09 2012

I like and recommend it because every few pages, Wilson presents us with a nugget of information so crisply and accessibly put that, unless you are in the Sarah Palin demographic of incuriosity, you will, I promise, find it fascinating.

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