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“Exactly the message we need to counter the mythology of the ‘rugged individual’” (Bill Moyers, Progressive Reader).Scientists have long puzzled over the idea that even in the face of natural competition, cooperation would have been necessary for life to evolve. Using his own groundbreaking research, Harvard professor of biology and mathematics Martin Nowak explains that even in pursuing our own interests we have an incentive to be kind to others as this encourages reciprocal kindness; to establish a nice reputation so people will want to work with us; and to work in teams because cooperating teams tend to be successful. Deftly unpacking the five basic laws of cooperationKin Selection, Direct Reciprocity, Indirect Reciprocity, Network Reciprocity, and Group SelectionNowak sheds new light on the most fundamental mechanics of everyday life.
Martin A. Nowak is a professor of biology and mathematics at Harvard University and director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. He established the first center in Theoretical Biology at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Roger Highfield is the editor of New Scientist magazine. He has written or coauthored six popular science books, two of which have been bestsellers.