Evolution, Science, and Society: Evolutionary Biology and the National Research Agenda (2001)
At the invitation of their respective Society Presidents, representatives from the American Society of Naturalists, the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, the Ecological Society of America, the Society of Systematic Biologists, the Genetics Society of America, the Animal Behavior Society, and the Paleontological Society met in Indianapolis on April 22-23, 1995, to discuss the need for preparation of a "White Paper" defining the challenges and opportunities facing the study of evolution. At that workshop, co-chairs Douglas J. Futuyma (editorial) and Thomas R. Meagher (organizing) were elected to seek funding to support workshops to develop background material for a white paper document as well as an associated executive summary and to coordinate and oversee their writing and publication. A Working Group representing major disciplines in evolutionary biology was convened to draft these documents with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and National Science Foundation. Announcements of the existence of this working group and its charges were made in The American Naturalist, Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, Molecular Biology and Evolution, and Science; and a web site was established in order to enable broader input into the final documents.
The resulting documents are addressed to decision-makers responsible for guiding basic and applied scientific research and for developing educational curricula. They are also addressed to anyone interested in understanding the current and potential accomplishments of evolutionary biology.
The major goals of these documents are:
* to describe our present understanding of evolution and the major intellectual accomplishments of evolutionary biology;
* to identify major questions and challenges in which progress in evolutionary science can be expected in the near future;
* to describe past and expected contributions of evolutionary biology both to other sciences and to social needs in areas such as health science, agriculture, and environmental science; and
* to suggest ways in which progress can be facilitated in basic research, in applications of evolutionary biology to social needs, and in biological science education.
Two versions of the Evolution, Science, and Society documents are currently available in either a printed form or on the internet.
The Executive Summary is targeted to a broad audience, including policymakers at government agencies, private foundations, college and university administrations, corporations, scientific and educational societies, and the scientific community itself. This version of the document also appeared in the November 1999 issue of BioScience.
The Executive Document is intended to serve as background material targeted to a more implementation-oriented readership whose interest has been captured by the Executive Summary. This version of the document is also available as a supplement to The American Naturalist.
(The much more detailed Executive Document is the version of the PDF file referred to by the torrent file here.)