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What’s wrong with evolutionary biology?

Overview of attention for article published in Biology & Philosophy, December 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#3 of 562)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Mentioned by

blogs
2 blogs
twitter
201 tweeters
facebook
2 Facebook pages
googleplus
1 Google+ user
video
1 video uploader

Citations

dimensions_citation
27 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
216 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
Title
What’s wrong with evolutionary biology?
Published in
Biology & Philosophy, December 2016
DOI 10.1007/s10539-016-9557-8
Pubmed ID
Authors

John J. Welch

Abstract

There have been periodic claims that evolutionary biology needs urgent reform, and this article tries to account for the volume and persistence of this discontent. It is argued that a few inescapable properties of the field make it prone to criticisms of predictable kinds, whether or not the criticisms have any merit. For example, the variety of living things and the complexity of evolution make it easy to generate data that seem revolutionary (e.g. exceptions to well-established generalizations, or neglected factors in evolution), and lead to disappointment with existing explanatory frameworks (with their high levels of abstraction, and limited predictive power). It is then argued that special discontent stems from misunderstandings and dislike of one well-known but atypical research programme: the study of adaptive function, in the tradition of behavioural ecology. To achieve its goals, this research needs distinct tools, often including imaginary agency, and a partial description of the evolutionary process. This invites mistaken charges of narrowness and oversimplification (which come, not least, from researchers in other subfields), and these chime with anxieties about human agency and overall purpose. The article ends by discussing several ways in which calls to reform evolutionary biology actively hinder progress in the field.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 201 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 216 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 3 1%
Spain 2 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Italy 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 206 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 59 27%
Researcher 36 17%
Student > Bachelor 33 15%
Student > Master 20 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 11 5%
Other 36 17%
Unknown 21 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 99 46%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 36 17%
Environmental Science 14 6%
Philosophy 11 5%
Psychology 8 4%
Other 22 10%
Unknown 26 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 126. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 14 April 2021.
All research outputs
#195,392
of 17,921,525 outputs
Outputs from Biology & Philosophy
#3
of 562 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#6,593
of 395,640 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Biology & Philosophy
#1
of 8 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,921,525 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 562 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 6.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 395,640 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 8 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them