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Introducing Günter Wagner: Evolution as a Creative Intellectual Endeavor

bridges vol. 11, September 2006 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad
by Christian Hederer

 

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Even among the exclusive group of scientists working at America's most prestigious research institutions, Günter Wagner, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University, is something of a rare species. Given his position, you might think that a scientific career of more than 20 years in several areas of influential, cutting-edge research is not that unusual. Less common, though, is the breadth of intellectual outlook he has retained despite a general trend towards ever narrower specialization: "Like in the days of the giants, Günter is a polymath whose intellectual curiosity extends far beyond the scope of his immediate research interests," says Robert Leclerc, a researcher at the "Wagner Lab," his main research unit. Karen D. Crow, another Lab researcher, agrees: "Dr. Wagner is able to recall information from a developmental, biochemical, and evolutionary perspective to fully evaluate the merit of an idea."


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