Thanks to the President, the Council, and the entire Society for allowing me the privilege of presenting Niles Eldredge to receive our highest honor, the Paleontological Society Medal. John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” True, the President who said that was almost impeached, but we are here today, honoring Niles Eldredge, because he is a leader in paleontology.

A particularly impressive feature of Niles' career is the broad array of fundamental paleontological and evolutionary topics he has profoundly illuminated. These range from development...

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