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    Darwin Day Examines Economics and Environmental Policy

    The return of evolutionary thinking in contemporary economics and the cross-fertilization of ideas in economics are among the topics that will be addressed during An Evolutionary Perspective on Economics and Environmental Policy, the annual Darwin Day lecture on Thursday, Feb. 17, at Duquesne University.

    "Economists rely on models of human behavior to predict the behavior of economies and make policy suggestions," said Dr. David Lampe, Darwin Day organizer and associate professor of biological sciences at Duquesne. "Current models could be vastly improved if they incorporated the insights of evolutionary biology, which documents how real humans behave in light of their evolutionary history. Anybody paying attention to the American economy over the last few years will realize just how much we need better models."

    Keynote speaker Dr. John Gowdy, the Rittenhouse Teaching Professor of Humanities and Social Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will emphasize the behavioral revolution in economic theory and policy using examples from climate change economics and the valuation of biological diversity while also exploring how an evolutionary perspective might help unify the behavioral critique of neoclassical theory.

    "We are interested in hearing Dr. Gowdy's re-examination of the connection between economics and evolution," added Dr. Alan Miciak, dean of the Palumbo•Donahue School of Business, which is co-sponsoring the event with the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. "Dr. Gowdy's discussion of the behavioral revolution in economic theory, citing examples from climate change economics, will surely create a thought-provoking lecture."

    The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom. Call 412.396.6322 or email darwin2011@duq.edu for more information.

    Duquesne University

    Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in 10 schools of study for 10,000-plus graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.