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EIU Department of Biological Sciences

2023 Gould Paper Award

Stephen Jay Gould was an influential evolutionary biologist who taught at Harvard University.  The Stephen Jay Gould Award is open to all students, both undergraduate and graduate, regardless of their department and major.  Darwin is often cited as an example of a person whose ideas "revolutionized" the way we view and understand our world. What Darwin did for our understanding of nature is similar in impact to what Einstein did for our understanding of physics and the universe. Few ideas have had such fundamental and far-reaching effects.

The topic to be addressed in this year's Stephen Jay Gould Award is:

"The impact of Darwin's theory of evolution on particular academic fields of inquiry."

In your paper, you must address how Darwin's ideas, specifically his theory, have impacted a particular discipline such as sociology, political science, economics, Biological Sciences, chemistry, philosophy or others. If you prefer, you may also include more than one discipline to broaden the scope of your paper. The paper must focus on the effect (such as causing or influencing a paradigm shift within a discipline) of Darwin's ideas on an academic discipline, not simply iterate a description of the particulars of Darwin's theory. The paper selected as the winner of this year's competition will receive a monetary prize . The winner is required to attend the Darwin Day opening celebration and Biological Sciences' Honors Banquet in Spring 2020 in order to receive the award. Additionally, the winner’s paper must be submitted to Booth Library’s “The Keep” for access and dissemination.

Submit the following items to the Darwin Day Committee in the Department of Biological Sciences: one typed, double-spaced copy of your paper uploaded for submission to “Turnitin” (this page will be updated with specific submission instructions); and, a hard-copy, signed letter of nomination from an Eastern Illinois University faculty member that supports the quality of your paper, delivered to the Department of Biological Sciences main office (room 2070, Life Sciences Building). Building). The submission deadline is 1200 h on Monday, 09 January 2023; email Dr. Eloy Martinez ( before the submission deadline for access to the online submission portal in D2L. Please consult additional information and selection criteria given below.

Papers in competition for the Stephen Jay Gould Award will be submitted through the Turnitin system. Accordingly, the Darwin Day Committee reminds submitters of university policy: Eastern Illinois University is committed to the learning process and academic integrity that is defined in the Student Conduct Code (1.1). To encourage original and authentic written work, any written assignment created in this competition may be submitted for review to and will become a searchable document with the Turnitin-protected and restricted use database.

Darwin Day Committee
Department of Biological Sciences
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, Illinois 61920-3099

The following rules will be used by the Darwin Day Committee to select an Eastern Illinois University student to receive the Stephen Jay Gould Award:

1. The student must be enrolled for a minimum of nine semester hours at Eastern Illinois University.

2. The student must be in good standing at the time the award is conferred and when the award check is issued.

3. The recipient must write a paper on the topic specified by the Darwin Day Committee and that meets the following technical criteria:

    a. The paper must be a typed document that is fifteen to twenty pages in length (excluding the list of  references, and all tables, figures and appendices), double-spaced, using 12-point Times New Roman font.

    b. The subject matter of the paper should focus on Darwin's ideas on evolution in relation to the specific theme established by the Darwin Day Committee for that academic year.

    c. References should be included if appropriate or necessary to the paper. This requirement will vary according to discipline. For example, in the physical and biological sciences, data used to support or formulate arguments must be cited from peer-reviewed sources. Alternatively, in  particular philosophical papers, peer reviewed sources of data may be irrelevant; rather, the philosophical analysis of the rationality of an argument is important.

    d. All citations in the text and the list of references section should follow the guidelines generally accepted within each discipline. If citing other people's work in a paper, then a list of the full citations should be included along with the paper submitted. In Biological Sciences, citations in the body of a text typically include the last name of the author and the year it was published. For example; (Williams et al. 1996) refers to a paper published by Williams and co-authors in 1996.

    e. All tables and figures should be appended at the end of the paper, after the Literature Cited section, and should be referenced in the text where appropriate.

4. A letter of nomination from an Eastern Illinois University faculty member who supports the quality of the student's paper should also be submitted directly to the Darwin Day Committee via Dr. Zhiwei Liu. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that this letter is received by the application deadline.

Paper quality will be judged according to the following criteria:

1. Scholarliness/originality
2. Prose/construction/style
3. Appropriateness of references, where applicable
4. Coherence/clarity/rationality/analyses

We would like to thank Jane and Herbert Lasky for funding this annual award.

For more information, contact Dr. Eloy Martinez.

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Contact Information

Dept. of Biological Sciences

Life Sciences Building - 2070 600 Lincoln Avenue Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-7141

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