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L31-Nowak_00 - Institution CORNELL UNIV LIBRARY | Sign In...

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Associate Professor/Professor Hershey, PA Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine Assistant/Associate Professor of Geophysics/Glaciology Fairbanks, AK University of Alaska, Fairbanks Summary of this Article E-Letters: Submit a response to this article Download to Citation Manager Alert me when: new articles cite this article Search for similar articles in: Science Online ISI Web of Science PubMed Search Medline for articles by: Nowak, M. A. || Sigmund, K. Search for citing articles in: ISI Web of Science (8) HighWire Press Journals Request permission to use this article This article appears in the following Subject Collections: Enhanced Content Economics ADVERTISEMENT Institution: CORNELL UNIV LIBRARY | Sign In as Individual | FAQ | Access Rights | Join AAAS Previous Article Table of Contents Next Article Science , Vol 288, Issue 5467, 819-820 , 5 May 2000 [DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5467.819] Perspectives Also see the archival list of Science 's Compass: Enhanced Perspectives SOCIAL SCIENCE: Enhanced: Shrewd Investments Martin A. Nowak [HN15] and Karl Sigmund [HN16] * T here is a well-known story about an elderly academic who made it a point to attend the funerals of colleagues, his reason being that "otherwise, they won't come to mine." This joke reveals a pervasive human trait: Whatever we do, we expect some sort of return. Reciprocation is the basis of human cooperation. Few altruistic acts are less likely to be returned by the recipient than that of paying last respects. Yet one feels that the old professor has reason to expect that his own funeral will be well attended. He is relying on indirect reciprocity: His act of kindness will be returned not by recipients, but rather by third parties. This type of cooperation figures prominently in human societies, and has been hailed as the "basis of all systems of morality" [HN1] ( 1 ). On page 850 of this issue, Wedekind and Milinski [HN2] examine
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Fairbanks Science Fellowship in Conservation Genetics Washington, DC Natural Resources Defense Council Director of Scientific Computing Ashburn (outside Of Dc), VA Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral fellow Toronto, Canada Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre FACULTY POSITION Omaha, NE University of Nebraska Medical Center Postdoctoral Research Associate Cleveland, OH Case Western Reserve University More jobs What's This... the part that indirect reciprocity plays in human society. They designed a fascinating psychology experiment to investigate how generosity garners future rewards for donors from third parties, but not from the original recipients ( 2 ). An ongoing concern in evolutionary biology is "to take altruism out of altruism," that is, to explain how helping others can emerge in a Darwinian world of "selfish genes [HN3] ." The late W. D. Hamilton [HN4] ( 3 ) showed that part of the explanation lies in kin selection [HN5] ( 4 ). He proposed that the degree of benefit conferred on an individual directly reflects the kinship of the individual to the donor. Thus, a gene programming an individual to help relatives would benefit
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