The Seed Salon

Andrea Barrett + Niles Eldredge

As a biology major in the 1970's, Andrea Barrett was introduced to the work of Niles Eldredge through her study of his theory of “punctuated equilibria.” Having long explored the work and lives of scientists in her fiction, Barrett was keen to meet Eldredge and discuss his experience with developing a controversial theory. As curator of the AMNH's recent Darwin exhibit, Eldredge had been immersed in one of the great stories in science, and was eager to gain a novelist's perspective on the creative process. The two caught up at New York's Algonquin Hotel to talk about narrative in science, Darwin and discovery, and all things evolved.

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