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The value of a broad mind: some natural history meanderings of Bill Hamilton *
 

Summary: The value of a broad mind:
some natural history meanderings of Bill Hamilton *
DAVID HUGHES
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
(E-mail: david.hughes@zoo.ox.ac.uk)
Received 1 March 2002, accepted 16 May 2002
BACKGROUND
It has been remarked upon by Robert May (MAY 2001) that to write a paper
with Bill Hamilton admitted one to a small circle, the honour of inclusion in which
was not lost upon him. Equally, I think, a similar circle exits for people who can say
they were students of Bill's. For a brief time I was co-supervised by Bill (and princi-
pally by Jeyaraney Kathirithamby). As his student I have found that I hold some
imaginary identification card that allows me to garner information from numerous
sources about various aspects of Bill's life. The esteem and reverence that so many
biologists have for him guarantees that unsolicited emails requesting information
are always answered if they begin with the line ... "I was a student of Bill Hamil-
ton". The reason I should solicit information at all is that I am deeply fascinated by
what exactly people mean when they speak of his "legendary knowledge" of the nat-
ural world (TRIVERS 2000). This essay is an attempt to document some of the natural
history meanderings of Bill Hamilton. Such curiosity may be justified, as my own

  

Source: Amrhein, Valentin - Zoologisches Institut, Universitšt Basel

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology