If you happened to catch Andrew Denton’s interview with Richard Dawkins, shown last night on ABC1, here’s a nice antidote: a long, chapter-length piece by Dawkins himself describing his career and early life. Despite naming W.D. Hamilton his “intellectual hero”, and briefly mentioning the importance of “new theoretical ideas” from John Maynard Smith and Robert Trivers, as well as George C. Williams, Dawkins doesn’t attend much to the intellectual context in evolutionary biology, from which his “gene-centred” popularisations developed. Instead most of the detail is about his research in ethology in the sixties and seventies.
That’s okay: Dawkins has given most of these scholars their due elsewhere, and if you’re like me his account of the original ethological work will correct an imbalance in your knowledge.