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Volume 4 Supplement 4

Special Issue: Evolution and Medicine


We are delighted with the ongoing success of our “Special Issues” format—which, under the guidance of guest editors who are experts in their respective fields, presents collections of papers that provide an overview of the latest thinking in particular areas of evolutionary science.

This current issue is especially exciting, as we complete volume 4 with a special issue on evolution and medicine. Edited by Drs. Michael F. Antolin and Kristin P. Jenkins, this issue provides an informative entryway into the fast-expanding field linking evolutionary biology with the teaching and practice of medicine. The relationship goes both ways: medical examples provide wonderful case histories that illustrate evolution-in-action; and students (indeed, people of all ages) can easily relate personally to the myriad phenomena involving human health. On the other hand, as several contributions to this issue make equally clear, evolutionary biology clarifies many medical issues—and would be beneficially incorporated into the curriculum of medical schools.

And indeed, it is this latter thought that provided the initial stimulus for producing this special issue on Evolution and Medicine. Dr. Michael Rosenbluth, who practices medicine in New York City, has long been an enthusiastic supporter of this journal. Dr. Rosenbluth has often reflected on the fact that he never heard anything whatsoever about evolution while he was in medical school. We have had many discussions with him on the new initiatives linking medicine with evolution—and how evolution could be introduced into medical school curricula.

From Dr. Rosenbluth’s initial lament of never having heard anything about evolution in medical school came the resolve to create this issue. Drs. Antolin and Jenkins have worked tirelessly to conceive of a range of topics and authors that, together, paint a picture of the gamut of topics folded into “evolution and medicine.” We thank them for their efforts—and dedicate this issue to Dr. Michael Rosenbluth for his inspiration!

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Correspondence to Niles Eldredge.

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Eldredge, N., Eldredge, G. Editorial. Evo Edu Outreach 4, 555 (2011).

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