The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) is a novel perspective that is gaining traction within evolutionary biology. From the EES standpoint, knowledge of how organisms develop, grow, and interact with their environments can help scientists to account for both the diversity of life and the processes of adaptation. In recent years, the EES has consolidated into a major research program, spanning multiple academic fields. Momentum has been fueled, in part, by our successful position papers (e.g. Laland et al, 2015), conferences (e.g. Evolution Evolving, Cambridge UK, April 2019) and workshops that we have organized, by the large numbers of impactful papers emerging from our grants (including JTF grant, “Putting the extended evolutionary synthesis to the test”, ID 60501), and the increasing volume of conceptually aligned work from the wider community. What is required now is a monograph that pulls all of these novel findings together and makes a compelling, coherent and authoritative case for conceptual change. The leaders of the EES movement agree that writing a book is the logical next step. Conceptual change will not take place within the field without convincing the expert, so first-and foremost the book should make the case for the EES to the evolutionary biology community, yet be sufficiently readable to also reach other academics, students and the public.
We request a small grant from the John Templeton Foundation to provide teaching cover and administrative support to Kevin Laland and Tobias Uller for two years, to allow us time to write such a book. We submit that, as the leader and co-leader of the previous EES grant and research program, we are uniquely well placed to do so. By the end of the grant we will deliver the book manuscript to a publisher. A secondary objective is to plan for an EES-informed undergraduate evolutionary biology textbook. Collectively, these projects will bring EES reasoning into the classrooms, and to the general public.