Book: The Agile Gene

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Great thanks to all the scientists who shared their astonishing nuggets from the genome with me, and to all those who cleared my head of nonsense and filled it with better ideas. Some people gave me long interviews, others responded to e-mails, and some just contributed passing remarks. They all did so with unfettered generosity. They include Michael Bailey, Simon Baron-Cohen, Pat Bateson, Ray Blanchard, Dorret Boomsma, Tom Bouchard, John Burn, Ira Carmen, Sue Carter, Avshalom Caspi, Shirley Chan, Hollis Cline, Steve Cohen, Peter Corning, Leda Cosmides, Francis Crick, Tim Crow, Tony Curzon-Price, Richard Dawkins, Paromita Deb-Rinker, Mickey Diamond, Alan Dixson, Sean Eddy, Thalia Eley, Mike Fainzilber, James Flynn, Alex Gann, Mary-Jane Gething, David Goetze, Anthony Gottlieb, Jean-Pierre Hardelin, Judith Rich Harris, Scott Hawley, Andrew Holmes, Gabriel Horn, Sarah Hrdy, Josh Huang, Tim Hubbard, Tom Insel, Bill Irons, Lucia Jacobs, Randal Keynes, Jonathan Kingdon, Tom Kirkwood, Robert Krueger, Robb Krumlauf, Naida Loskutoff, Robin Lovell-Badge, Bobbi Low, Hugh Lytton, Zach Mainen, Nick Martin, Roger Masters, Brian McCabe, Robin McKie, Chris McManus, Michael Meaney, Drew Mendelsohn, David Micklos, Geoffrey Miller, Sue Mineka, Graeme Mitchison, Terrie Moffitt, Bill Neaves, Randy Nesse, John Orbell, Svante Paabo, Steven Pinker, Robert Plomin, Malcolm Potts, Cathy Rankin, Mark Ridley, Giacomo Rizzolatti, Pemilla Roth, Joe Sambrook, Ken Schaffner, Nancy Segal, Phil Sharp, Richard Sherlock, Neil Smalheiser, Tim Specter, Robert Sprinkle, David Stern, David Stewart, Bruce Stillman, John Sulston, Ian Tattersall, Bronwyn Terrill, John Tooby, Patricia Tueting, Tim Tully, Eric Turkheimer, Ajit Varki, Richard Viken, Christopher Walsh, Jim Watson, Mary-Jane West-Eberhard, Jan Witkowski, Geoffrey Woods, Robert Wozniak, Richard Wrangham, Pat Wright, Robert Yolken, and Larry Zipursky.

While writing the book, I was fortunate to spend some time in the intellectually exciting yet aesthetically peaceful surroundings of Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. I am very grateful to all those who made our stay there such a pleasure, especially Jim and Liz Watson, Bruce and Grace Stillman, and Jan and Fiona Witkowski. I am also especially grateful to my hosts at the Stowers Institute in Kansas City when the awful events of September 11, 2001, briefly stranded me there: especially Bill Neaves and Neil and Jean Patterson. Back home I thank all my colleagues at the International Centre for Life for their support and encouragement over the past two years, including Alastair Balls, Linda Conlon, Steve Cross, and Teresa McDonald.

Several people generously read all or part of the book in draft and suggested vital changes: Richard Dawkins, Graeme Mitchison, Randy Nesse, Jim Watson, John Tooby, and Anya Hurlbert.

My editors, Terry Karten and Christopher Potter, gave me plenty of rope; my agents, Felicity Bryan and Peter Ginsberg, did a fabulous job, as ever; and both of my publishers turned the book around in record time.

The phrase “nature via nurture” was coined by David Lykken, who kindly allowed me to use it as the title of the hardcover edition of this book.

Anya Hurlbert’s advice and support, neuroscientific, literary, and personal, was priceless throughout.

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