Lewontin’s Legacy and the Influence of Engels: A View from the Trenches

Sahotra Sarkar
Pages 03-12| Published online: 27 Jan 2022

Sarkar, Sahotra. 2022. “Lewontin’s Legacy and the Influence of Engels: A View from the Trenches.” Marxism & Sciences 1(1):03–12.


Dick Lewontin’s passing on the 4th of July, while this journal’s inaugural issue was be-ing compiled, marks the end of a dominating, and yet troubled, era for radical sci-ence, especially in the United States. He was preceded in death by his long-term comrade and friend, Richard Levins, who died in 2016. Another occasional collabora-tor, Stephen Jay Gould, the third member of Harvard’s most distinguished tri-umvarite had died in his relative youth, almost twenty years earlier in 2001. All three were at the forefront of the social—and socialist—struggles of their genera-tion, starting with the movement against the Vietnam War and continuing with the resistance to repeated outbreaks of well-organized scientific racism. It is apt to me-morialize Lewontin here—and also mention Levins and Gould—because all three of these figures were explicit in acknowledging their debt to Engels.

Keywords: Richard Lewontin, science, biology, Marxism, Richard Levins, Stephen Jay Gould.


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