Francisco Ayala profile

Cornelia Dean writes a long profile of Francisco Ayala in today's Science Times. The occasion is the publication of his new book, Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion.

Dr. Ayala gives about 50 talks a year, he said in a recent interview in New York, a day after he delivered the inaugural Louis Levine-Gabriella de Beer lecture in genetics at City College. (He had spoken the day before, at North Carolina State University, on the evolution of morality, and spoke two days later at McGill University in Toronto, where his subject was Darwinism and religion.)
Because of his eminence -- he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a winner of the National Medal of Science -- Dr. Ayala "has a bully pulpit," said Eugenie Scott, who heads the National Center for Science Education, a group that advocates for the teaching of evolution and against creationism in public schools. "When Francisco speaks, people listen."

Ayala is a fascinating person to talk to, and his vines make some of the best wine I've ever had. The article is a nice portrait of his current work.