News Release

World-renowned authorities provide current perspectives on Darwin's theory of evolution

In new book, contributors describe the molecular basis of evolution as well as the relevance of evolutionary theory for sociology, culture and the economy

Book Announcement

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

'Evolution: The Molecular Landscape'

image: The front cover of the paperback edition of <I>Evolution: The Molecular Landscape</I> shows Charles Darwin at four different ages. (Illustration by Daniel W. Smith.) view more 

Credit: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (July 7, 2010) -- A new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Evolution: The Molecular Landscape, is based on presentations by world-renowned scholars who gathered at the 74th annual Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology last year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species.

"An overarching theme of the meeting was the extent to which much of evolutionary biology can now be viewed in a molecular, and often genomic, framework and the extraordinary degree to which many of Darwin's insights remain profoundly relevant today," write the meeting organizers, Bruce Stillman, David Stewart, and Jan Witkowski, in the Foreword to the book. "Evolutionary concepts have had an impact far beyond the boundaries of science and there is hardly a field of human endeavor that has not been influenced by evolutionary thinking."

The line-up of speakers—and contributors to the new book—comprised a stellar list of preeminent scientists and thinkers such as the zoologist and prolific author E. O. Wilson; Janet Browne, a science historian and Darwin biographer; Niall Ferguson, a Harvard professor and author of The Ascent of Money; and 2009 Nobel Prize winners Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Jack W. Szostak, to name just a few.

Topics covered in the book include the appearance of the first genetic material, the origins of cellular life, evolution and development, selection and adaptation, and genome evolution. Human origins, cognition, and cultural evolution are also covered, along with social interactions.


This volume and other recent proceedings from the Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology are available online at Each chapter can be purchased on a pay-per-view basis from the website. Additionally, libraries or individuals that purchase the hardcover edition are entitled to unlimited web access to it and a number of past volumes. Interviews with various speakers from the symposium are at

About the book: Evolution: The Molecular Landscape (Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology LXXIV) was edited by Bruce Stillman, David Stewart, and Jan Witkowski (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory). The book is 485 pp. in length (7 3/4" × 10 3/4"; illus., indexes; © 2010 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press). Hardcover (ISBN 978-087969870-6) and paperback (978-087969871-3) editions are available. For more information, see

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press is an internationally renowned publisher of books, journals, and electronic media, located on Long Island, New York. Since 1933, it has furthered the advance and spread of scientific knowledge in all areas of genetics and molecular biology, including cancer biology, plant science, bioinformatics, and neurobiology. It is a division of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an innovator in life science research and the education of scientists, students, and the public. For more information, visit

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