Inclusive fitness: 50 years on

Issue compiled and edited by Andy Gardner and Stuart West

In 1964, W. D. Hamilton showed that natural selection leads the organism to appear designed as if to maximize her inclusive fitness: her combined impact upon the reproductive success of all her relatives, each increment being weighted by her genetic relatedness to the recipient. This topic has blossomed into one of the most successful programmes of evolutionary research, boasting a healthy interplay of theory and empiricism, in fields as disparate as behavioural ecology, microbiology and agriculture. On its 50th anniversary, we take stock, check the soundness of its foundations, showcase the most exciting current research, and contemplate the challenges for inclusive fitness research over the next 50 years.



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