Academic journal article Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

Preface

Academic journal article Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

Preface

Article excerpt

This volume reproduces one Report of Meetings and six Bulletins from the Committee on Common Problems of Genetics, Paleontology, and Systematics. This Committee operated as an administrative unit of the National Research Council (NRC), part of the US National Academy of Science. It was launched in 1943, blossomed for two years, then served as a cornerstone for other cooperative projects. These later projects included the journal Evolution, the Society for the Study of Evolution, and the 1947 Princeton conference on "genetics, paleontology, and evolution." When discharging this Committee in 1949, NRC officials judged it an unqualified success.

Membership of the Committee on Common Problems included key contributors to reform of American evolutionary studies during the famous "synthesis" period, spanning the second quarter of the twentieth century. These reformers profoundly influenced later generations of evolutionary studies. Considerable debate surrounds historical questions concerning this group's accomplishments: precisely what did they achieve, and how were these accomplishments secured? No matter how historians approach such questions, they always return to the Committee on Common Problems.

The documents reproduced in this volume have remained out of circulation since their original distribution in the 1940s. …

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