School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
PO Box 874501
Tempe, AZ 85287
Dr. Hamilton's research focuses on the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the biological sciences, particularly evolutionary theory and systematics, as well as on the relationships between science and public policy. Two goals of this work are to use the tools of philosophy to clarify ideas and arguments with the hope of making progress in answering empirical questions and to bring careful thinking about science to discussions of values and policy in the classroom and in public forums.
Within evolutionary theory, Dr. Hamilton is currently concentrating on natural selection. Does natural selection operate above the species level? In what sense are groups individuals with respect to selection's operation? What are the relevant cohesion relations between the individuals that make up various kinds of groups such that it makes sense to countenance the group as an evolutionary individual? This work is massively collaborative, and Dr. Hamilton is partnering with researchers in Arizona State University's Social Insect Study Group and the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity.
As a means of addressing science's broader impacts, Dr. Hamilton is working with colleagues across the nation to develop a multi-campus and interdisciplinary Science and Society course. This course aims at scientific and conceptual literacy about science practice, science policy, and some of the moral and ethical challenges posed by advances in science and technology.
Before coming to ASU, Dr. Hamilton taught at the University of Dar es Salaam, the University of San Francisco, and the University of California at Davis. At Davis he was a proud member of the Griesemer lab. In addition to his appointment in the School of Life Sciences, Dr. Hamilton is an Associate of the Center for the History and Philosophy of Science at the California Academy of Sciences.