“Why do we choose to cooperate and how can we promote greater cooperation in world affairs? These are the questions that Robert Axelrod has pursued for more than 40 years.”
So begins Eric M. Johnson’s deep Q&A with National Medal of Science winner Robert Axelrod for This View of Life. Johnson engages Axelrod in a substantive discussion of his academic work, his interdisciplinary collaborations, and his beliefs, touching on a broad range of topics including reciprocal altruism, the evolutionary advantages of sex, methods for promoting cooperation and minimizing conflict, and reasons for hope in a world prone to conflict.
According to today’s White House press release, “President Obama Presents the National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation,” Axelrod has been chosen to receive the award, “For interdisciplinary work on the evolution of cooperation, complexity theory, and international security, and for the exploration of how social science models can be used to explain biological phenomena.” Axelrod is the first political scientist to win the medal—our nation’s highest honor for scientific achievement—in more than 25 years.
Other recent stories of note:
- November 20, 2014: “Want to know the secret of success in today’s modern, civilised world? Be civilized,” writes MoneyWeek reporter Bill Bonner in today’s “Generous tit-for-tat, how to act to get what you want.” The piece explores the business implications of Axelrod’s cooperation theory.
- November 20, 2014: “UM professor gets White House science medal,” an Associated Press story, was picked up in The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, and Crain’s Detroit Business, among others.
- November 21, 2014: Michigan Radio publishes a nice follow-up piece on the award ceremony.
For more information about the award and photos, please see the National Science, and Technology Medals Foundation website.
Notable social media mentions:
National Medal of Science Awarded to Political Scientist Robert Axelrod, a pioneer in the evolution of cooperation. http://t.co/2hK04AiEOC— Steven Pinker (@sapinker) November 20, 2014