A Contingent Destiny: The Life and Times of Stephen Jay Gould


Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships




“A Contingent Destiny” is a general interest biography that redresses the untimely silencing of evolutionary theorist and activist Stephen Jay Gould’s voice at age 60 from cancer in 2002. Based on research in the Stephen Jay Gould Papers in Stanford University’s Special Collections, the project explores Gould’s eloquent criticisms of determinism in all its forms, especially racist and sexist theories of biological determinism, and his tireless advocacy for the concept of contingency as a source of both freedom and moral responsibility.