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E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson

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Encyclopedia
Edward Osborne Wilson is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 biologist, researcher (sociobiology
Sociobiology
Sociobiology is a field of scientific study which is based on the assumption that social behavior has resulted from evolution and attempts to explain and examine social behavior within that context. Often considered a branch of biology and sociology, it also draws from ethology, anthropology,...

, biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

), theorist (consilience
Consilience
Consilience, or the unity of knowledge , has its roots in the ancient Greek concept of an intrinsic orderliness that governs our cosmos, inherently comprehensible by logical process, a vision at odds with mystical views in many cultures that surrounded the Hellenes...

, biophilia
Biophilia Hypothesis
The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book entitled Biophilia.- Love of living systems :...

), naturalist (conservationist
Conservationist
Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

) and author. His biological specialty is myrmecology
Myrmecology
Myrmecology is the scientific study of ants, a branch of entomology. Some early myrmecologists considered ant society as the ideal form of society and sought to find solutions to human problems by studying them. Ants continue to be a model of choice for the study of questions on the evolution of...

, the study of ant
Ant
Ants are social insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than...

s.

Wilson is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction has been awarded since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in another category.-1960s:...

. He is known for his scientific career, his role as "the father of sociobiology", his environmental
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 advocacy, and his secular-humanist and deist ideas pertaining to religious and ethical matters.

As of 2007, he is Pellegrino University Research Professor in Entomology for the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 and a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism
International Academy of Humanism
The International Academy of Humanism is a programme of the Council for Secular Humanism. It was established to recognize great humanists and disseminate humanist thinking. According to its declared mission, members of the academy are devoted to free inquiry, are committed to a scientific outlook,...

.

Early life


Wilson was born in Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

. According to his autobiography Naturalist
Naturalist (book)
Naturalist is an autobiography by naturalist, entomologist, and sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson first published in 1994 by Island Press. In it he writes on his childhood and the beginnings of his interest in biology, on his work in entomology and myrmecology, on his work with biogeography, and on...

, he grew up mostly around Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 and in the countryside around Mobile, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

. From an early age, he was interested in natural history. His parents, Edward and Inez Wilson, divorced when he was seven. In that same year, he blinded himself in one eye in a fishing accident. The young naturalist grew up in several cities and towns, moving around with his father and his stepmother. His reduced ability to observe mammals and birds led him to concentrate on insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s. At nine, Wilson undertook his first expeditions at the Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park is a large urban natural area with public park facilities that bisects Washington, D.C. The park is administered by the National Park Service.-Rock Creek Park:The main section of the park contains , or , along the Rock Creek Valley...

 in Washington, DC. He earned the Eagle Scout
Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America)
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America . A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men...

 award and served as Nature Director of his Boy Scout
Boy Scout
A Scout is a boy or a girl, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. Because of the large age and development span, many Scouting associations have split this age group into a junior and a senior section...

 summer camp. At the age of 18, intent on becoming an entomologist, he began by collecting flies
Diptera
Diptera , or true flies, is the order of insects possessing only a single pair of wings on the mesothorax; the metathorax bears a pair of drumstick like structures called the halteres, the remnants of the hind wings. It is a large order, containing an estimated 240,000 species, although under half...

, but the shortage of insect pins caused by World War II caused him to switch to ant
Ant
Ants are social insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than...

s, which could be stored in vials. With the encouragement of Marion R. Smith, a myrmecologist from the National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. Admission is free and the museum is open 364 days a year....

 in Washington, Wilson began a survey of all the ants of Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

. This study led him to report the first colony of fire ants in the US, near the port of Mobile. (first-hand account, Smithsonian Institution talk, April 22, 2010).

Concerned that he might not be able to afford to go to a university, Wilson attempted to enlist in the United States Army. His plan was to earn U.S. government financial support for his education, but he failed his Army medical examination due to his impaired eyesight. Wilson was able to afford to enroll in the University of Alabama
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

 after all. There, he earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees. He later earned his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

.

Epic of evolution


"The evolutionary epic
Epic of Evolution
The phrase Epic of Evolution represents an attempt to create a mythic narrative aimed at reconciling religious and scientific views of cosmic evolution, biological evolution, and sociocultural evolution. According to Taylor's Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, it is…-History:The term "Epic of...

," Wilson wrote in his book On Human Nature, "is probably the best myth we will ever have." Wilson's intended usage of the word "myth" does not denote falsehood - rather, a grand narrative that provides people with placement in time—a meaningful placement that celebrates extraordinary moments of shared heritage. Wilson was not the first to use the term, but his fame prompted its usage as the morphed phrase epic of evolution.

Wilson explained the need for the epic of evolution:
The worth of the epic, he said is, "The true evolutionary epic retold as poetry, is as intrinsically ennobling as any religious epic."

Cosmologist
Cosmology
Cosmology is the discipline that deals with the nature of the Universe as a whole. Cosmologists seek to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order...

 Brian Swimme
Brian Swimme
Brian Thomas Swimme is on the faculty of the California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco, where he teaches evolutionary cosmology to graduate students in the humanities. He received his Ph.D. from the department of mathematics at the University of Oregon for work in singularity...

 concludes in a 1997 interview:
Naturalistic and liberal religious writers have picked up on Wilson's term and have used it in a number of texts. These authors however have at times used other terms to refer to the idea: Universe Story (Brian Swimme
Brian Swimme
Brian Thomas Swimme is on the faculty of the California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco, where he teaches evolutionary cosmology to graduate students in the humanities. He received his Ph.D. from the department of mathematics at the University of Oregon for work in singularity...

, John F. Haught), Great Story (Connie Barlow, Michael Dowd
Michael Dowd
Michael Dowd is an American evolutionary theologian, bestselling author, and evangelist for Big History and Religious Naturalism....

), Everybody's Story (Loyal Rue
Loyal Rue
Dr. Loyal D. Rue is professor of religion and philosophy at Luther College of Decorah, Iowa , and focuses on naturalistic theories of religion.He has been awarded two John Templeton Foundation fellowships....

), New Story (Thomas Berry
Thomas Berry
Thomas Berry, C.P. was a Catholic priest of the Passionist order, cultural historian and ecotheologian ....

, Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

, Brian Swimme) and Cosmic Evolution (Eric Chaisson
Eric Chaisson
Eric J. Chaisson is an American astrophysicist and science educator best known for his research, teaching, and writing on the interdisciplinary science of cosmic evolution....

).

Sociobiology


Michael McGoodwin paraphrasing and quoting Wilson (pp. 16 and 222) on sociobiology
Sociobiology
Sociobiology is a field of scientific study which is based on the assumption that social behavior has resulted from evolution and attempts to explain and examine social behavior within that context. Often considered a branch of biology and sociology, it also draws from ethology, anthropology,...


Although much human diversity in behavior is culturally influenced, some has been shown to be genetic - rapid acquisition of language, human unpredictability, hypertrophy (extreme growth of pre-existing social structures), altruism and religions. "Religious practices that consistently enhance survival and procreation of the practitioners will propagate the physiological controls that favor the acquisition of the practices during single lifetimes." Unthinking submission to the communal will promotes the fitness of the members of the tribe. Even submission to secular religions and cults involve willing subordination of the individual to the group. Religious practices confer biological advantages.

Wilson used sociobiology and evolutionary principles to explain the behavior of the social insects and then to understand the social behavior of other animals, including humans, thus established sociobiology as a new scientific field. He argued that all animal behavior, including that of humans, is the product of heredity
Heredity
Heredity is the passing of traits to offspring . This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism. Through heredity, variations exhibited by individuals can accumulate and cause some species to evolve...

, environmental stimuli, and past experiences, and that free will
Free will
"To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

 is an illusion. He has referred to the biological basis of behaviour as the "genetic leash." The sociobiological view is that all animal social behavior is governed by epigenetic
Epigenetics
In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- -genetics...

 rules worked out by the laws of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

. This theory and research proved to be seminal, controversial, and influential.

The controversy of sociobiological research is in how it applies to humans. The theory established a scientific argument for rejecting the common doctrine of tabula rasa
Tabula rasa
Tabula rasa is the epistemological theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception. Generally proponents of the tabula rasa thesis favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture debate, when it comes to aspects...

, which holds that human beings are born without any innate mental content and that culture functions to increase human knowledge and aid in survival and success. In the final chapter of the book Sociobiology and in the full text of his Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

-winning On Human Nature
On Human Nature
On Human Nature is a 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by the Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson. The book tries to explain how different characteristics of humans and society can be explained from the point of view of evolution...

, Wilson argues that the human mind is shaped as much by genetic inheritance as it is by culture (if not more). There are limits on just how much influence social and environmental factors can have in altering human behavior.

Ants and social insects


Wilson, along with Bert Hölldobler
Bert Hölldobler
Bert Hölldobler is a German behavioral biologist and Sociobiologist whose primary study subjects are social insects and in particular ants. He is a co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Ants with Edward O. Wilson...

, has done a systematic study of ants and ant behavior, culminating in their encyclopedic work, The Ants
The Ants
The Ants is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, written in 1990, by E. O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler. It was a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1991.-Contents:...

(1990). Because much self-sacrificing behavior on the part of individual ants can be explained on the basis of their genetic interests in the survival of the sisters, with whom they share 75% of their genes (though the actual case is some species' queens mate with multiple males and therefore some workers in a colony would only be 25% related), Wilson was led to argue for a sociobiological explanation for all social behavior on the model of the behavior of the social insects. In his more recent work, he has sought to defend his views against the criticism of younger scientists such as Deborah Gordon
Deborah Gordon
Deborah M. Gordon is a biologist at Stanford University.- Major research :Gordon studies ant colony behavior and ecology, with a particular focus on red harvester ants. She focuses on the developing behavior of colonies, even as individual ants change functions within their own lifetimes.Gordon's...

, whose results challenge the idea that ant behavior is as rigidly-predictable as Wilson's explanations make it.

Edward O. Wilson, referring to ant
Ant
Ants are social insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than...

s, once said that "Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 was right, socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 works, it is just that he had the wrong species", meaning that while ants and other eusocial species appear to live in communist-like societies, they only do so because they are forced to do so from their basic biology, as they lack reproductive independence: worker ants, being sterile, need their ant-queen to survive as a colony and a species and individual ants cannot reproduce without a queen, thus being forced to live in centralised societies. Humans, however, do possess reproductive independence so they can give birth to offspring without the need of a "queen", and in fact humans enjoy their maximum level of Darwinian fitness only when they look after themselves and their offspring, while finding innovative ways to use the societies they live in for their own benefit.

Consilience


In his 1998 book Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge is a 1998 book by biologist E. O. Wilson. In this book, Wilson discusses methods that have been used to unite the sciences and might in the future unite them with the humanities...

, Wilson discusses methods that have been used to unite the sciences, and might be able to unite the sciences with the humanities. Wilson prefers and uses the term "consilience
Consilience
Consilience, or the unity of knowledge , has its roots in the ancient Greek concept of an intrinsic orderliness that governs our cosmos, inherently comprehensible by logical process, a vision at odds with mystical views in many cultures that surrounded the Hellenes...

" to describe the synthesis of knowledge from different specialized fields of human endeavor. He defines human nature
Human nature
Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally....

 as a collection of epigenetic
Epigenetics
In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- -genetics...

 rules, the genetic patterns of mental development. He argues that culture and rituals are products, not parts, of human nature. He says art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 is not part of human nature, but our appreciation of art is. He argues that concepts such as art appreciation, fear of snakes, or the incest
Incest
Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives that is usually illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place and/or is conventionally considered a taboo. The term may apply to sexual activities between: individuals of close "blood relationship"; members of the same household; step...

 taboo
Taboo
A taboo is a strong social prohibition relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs and or scientific consensus. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society...

 (Westermarck effect
Westermarck effect
The Westermarck effect, or reverse sexual imprinting, is a hypothetical psychological effect through which people who live in close domestic proximity during the first few years of their lives become desensitized to later sexual attraction. This phenomenon was first hypothesized by Finnish...

) can be studied using scientific methods. Previously, these phenomena were only part of psychological
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, sociological
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, or anthropological
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 studies. Wilson proposes that they can be part of interdisciplinary research.

The unit and target of selection


Wilson has argued that the "unit
Unit of selection
A unit of selection is a biological entity within the hierarchy of biological organisation that is subject to natural selection...

of selection is a gene, the basic element of heredity. The target of selection is normally the individual who carries an ensemble of genes of certain kinds." With regards to the use kin selection
Kin selection
Kin selection refers to apparent strategies in evolution that favor the reproductive success of an organism's relatives, even at a cost to the organism's own survival and reproduction. Charles Darwin was the first to discuss the concept of group/kin selection...

 in explaining the behavior of eusocial
Eusociality
Eusociality is a term used for the highest level of social organization in a hierarchical classification....

 insects, Wilson said to Discover
Discover (magazine)
Discover is an American science magazine that publishes articles about science for a general audience. The monthly magazine was launched in October 1980 by Time Inc. It was sold to Family Media, the owners of Health, in 1987. Walt Disney Company bought the magazine when Family Media went out of...

magazine, the "new view that I'm proposing is that it was group selection
Group selection
In evolutionary biology, group selection refers to the idea that alleles can become fixed or spread in a population because of the benefits they bestow on groups, regardless of the alleles' effect on the fitness of individuals within that group....

 all along, an idea first roughly formulated by Darwin."

Views on religion


As paraphrased by Michael McGoodwin

Scientific humanism


Wilson coined the phrase scientific humanism as "the only worldview compatible with science's growing knowledge of the real world and the laws of nature". Wilson argues that it is best suited to improve the human condition.

God and religion


On the question of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, Wilson has described his position as provisional deism. He has explained his faith as a trajectory away from traditional beliefs: "I drifted away from the church, not definitively agnostic
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

 or atheistic
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

, just Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 & Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 no more." Wilson argues that the belief in God and rituals of religion are products of evolution
Evolutionary origin of religions
The evolutionary origin of religions theorizes about the emergence of religious behavior during the course of human evolution.- Nonhuman religious behavior :...

. He argues that they should not be rejected or dismissed, but further investigated by science to better understand their significance to human nature. In his book The Creation, Wilson suggests that scientists "offer the hand of friendship" to religious leaders and build an alliance with them, stating that "Science and religion are two of the most potent forces on Earth and they should come together to save the creation."

Wilson makes a similar suggestion, and appeal to the religious community, on the lecture circuit. An article on his September 17, 2009 lecture at Midland College, Texas, reports, "he said the appeal received a 'massive reply' and a covenant has been written. 'I think that partnership will work to a substantial degree as time goes on,' Wilson said."

Wilson appears in the upcoming documentary Behold The Earth
Behold The Earth
Behold the Earth is a feature-length musical documentary film that inquires into America's divorce from nature, built out of conversations with leading biologists and evangelical Christians, and directed by David Conover. The film is currently in production.-Cast:*E. O...

, which inquires into America's "divorce from nature", and the relationship between the forces of science and religion.

Ecology


When discussing the reinvigoration of his original fields of study since the 1960s, Wilson has said that if he could start his life over he would work in microbial ecology
Microbial ecology
Microbial ecology is the ecology of microorganisms: their relationship with one another and with their environment. It concerns the three major domains of life — Eukaryota, Archaea, and Bacteria — as well as viruses....

. He studied the mass extinctions of the 20th century and their relationship to modern society, arguing strongly for an ecological
Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

 approach:
His understanding of the scale of the extinction crisis has led him to advocate a number of strategies for forest protection, including the Forests Now Declaration
Forests Now Declaration
The Forests Now Declaration is a declaration that advocates using carbon credits to protect tropical forests. The Declaration was created by the Global Canopy Programme, and has been signed by over 200 NGOs, business leaders, scientists and conservationists...

, which calls for new markets-based mechanisms to protect tropical forests.

Criticism of human sociobiology


Wilson experienced significant criticism for his sociobiological views from several different communities. The scientific response included several of Wilson's colleagues at Harvard, such as Richard Lewontin
Richard Lewontin
Richard Charles "Dick" Lewontin is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and social commentator. A leader in developing the mathematical basis of population genetics and evolutionary theory, he pioneered the notion of using techniques from molecular biology such as gel electrophoresis to...

 and Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation....

, who were strongly opposed to his ideas regarding sociobiology. Marshall Sahlins
Marshall Sahlins
Marshall David Sahlins is a prominent American anthropologist. He received both a Bachelors and Masters degree at the University of Michigan where he studied with Leslie White, and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1954 where his main intellectual influences included Karl Polanyi and...

's work The Use and Abuse of Biology was a direct criticism of Wilson's theories.

Politically, Wilson's sociobiological ideas have offended some liberals
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 and conservatives who favored the idea that human behavior was culturally based. Sociobiology re-ignited the nature-versus-nurture
Nature versus nurture
The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities versus personal experiences The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities ("nature," i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences...

 debate, and Wilson's scientific perspective on human nature led to public debate. He was accused of racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

, misogyny
Misogyny
Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Philogyny, meaning fondness, love or admiration towards women, is the antonym of misogyny. The term misandry is the term for men that is parallel to misogyny...

, and eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

. In one incident, a member of the International Committee Against Racism
International Committee Against Racism
The International Committee Against Racism was the "mass organization" of the Progressive Labor Party in the United States...

 poured a pitcher of water on Wilson's head and chanted "Wilson, you're all wet" at an AAAS
American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the...

 conference in November 1978. Wilson later spoke of the incident as a source of pride: "I believe...I was the only scientist in modern times to be physically attacked for an idea."

“I believe Gould was a charlatan,” Wilson told The Atlantic. “I believe that he was ... seeking reputation and credibility as a scientist and writer, and he did it consistently by distorting what other scientists were saying and devising arguments based upon that distortion.”

Religious objections included those of Paul E. Rothrock, who said: "... sociobiology has the potential of becoming a religion of scientific materialism."

The history of the Sociobiology controversy is detailed in Stephen Pinker's The Blank Slate
The Blank Slate
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature is a best-selling 2002 book by Steven Pinker arguing against tabula rasa models of the social sciences. Pinker argues that human behavior is substantially shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations...

.

Awards and honors


Wilson's scientific and conservation honors include:
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences
    United States National Academy of Sciences
    The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

    , 1969
  • U.S. National Medal of Science
    National Medal of Science
    The National Medal of Science is an honor bestowed by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and...

    , 1976
  • Pulitzer Prize
    Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
    The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction has been awarded since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in another category.-1960s:...

     for On Human Nature
    On Human Nature
    On Human Nature is a 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by the Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson. The book tries to explain how different characteristics of humans and society can be explained from the point of view of evolution...

    , 1979
    1979 Pulitzer Prize
    -Journalism awards:*Public Service:**The Point Reyes Light, a California weekly. For its investigation of Synanon, .*Local General or Spot News Reporting:...

  • Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
    Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
    The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is an award for environmental science, environmental health and energy. Tyler Laureates receive a $200,000 annual prize and a gold medallion...

    , 1984
  • ECI Prize
    ECI Prize
    The ECI Prize is a prize awarded annually from 1986 onwards to an ecologist distinguished by outstanding and sustained scientific achievements. It is awarded by the Ecology Institute, a non-profit organization of research ecologists dedicated to fostering ecological knowledge and awareness.The...

    , International Ecology Institute, terrestrial ecology, 1987
  • Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award
    Academy of Achievement
    The Academy of Achievement is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization founded in 1961 by photographer Hy Peskin. He established the Academy of Achievement to bring aspiring young people together with accomplished people...

    , 1988
  • Crafoord Prize
    Crafoord Prize
    The Crafoord Prize is an annual science prize established in 1980 by Holger Crafoord, a Swedish industrialist, and his wife Anna-Greta Crafoord...

    , 1990, a prize awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden. The Academy is an independent, non-governmental scientific organization which acts to promote the sciences, primarily the natural sciences and mathematics.The Academy was founded on 2...

     in certain sciences not covered by the Nobel Prize
    Nobel Prize
    The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

    , and therefore considered the highest award given in the field of ecology
  • Pulitzer Prize
    Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
    The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction has been awarded since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in another category.-1960s:...

     for The Ants
    The Ants
    The Ants is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, written in 1990, by E. O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler. It was a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1991.-Contents:...

    (with Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler is a German behavioral biologist and Sociobiologist whose primary study subjects are social insects and in particular ants. He is a co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Ants with Edward O. Wilson...

    ), 1991
  • International Prize for Biology
    International Prize for Biology
    The International Prize for Biology is an annual award for significant contributions to biology. The award was created in 1985 to recognize Emperor Hirohito of Japan's long time interest in and support of the biological sciences. The selection and award of the prize is managed by the Japan Society...

    , 1993
  • Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science
    Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science
    The Carl Sagan Award for Public Understanding of Science is an award presented by the Council of Scientific Society Presidents to individuals who have become “concurrently accomplished as researchers and/or educators, and as widely recognized magnifiers of the public's understanding of science.”...

    , 1994
  • Time Magazines 25 Most Influential People in America, 1995
  • Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences of the American Philosophical Society
    American Philosophical Society
    The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743, and located in Philadelphia, Pa., is an eminent scholarly organization of international reputation, that promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications,...

    , 1998.
  • American Humanist Association
    American Humanist Association
    The American Humanist Association is an educational organization in the United States that advances Humanism. "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that...

    's 1999 Humanist of the Year
  • Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science
    Lewis Thomas Prize
    The Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, named for its first recipient, Lewis Thomas, is an annual literary prize awarded by Rockefeller University to scientists deemed to have accomplished a significant literary achievement: it "recognizes scientists as poets"...

    , 2000
  • Nierenberg Prize
    Nierenberg Prize
    The Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest is given annually by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It was created through a gift of the family to honor the memory of William Nierenberg...

    , 2001
  • Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
    Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
    The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award is a distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America . It is awarded to an Eagle Scout for distinguished service in his profession and to his community for a period of at least 25 years after attaining the level of Eagle Scout...

     2004
  • Dauphin Island Sea Lab
    Dauphin Island Sea Lab
    The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is Alabama's primary marine education and research center. DISL is the home site of the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium and was founded by an act of the Alabama State Legislature in 1971. It also has a public aquarium specializing in estuarine organisms, the...

     christened its newest research vessel the R/V E.O. Wilson in 2005.
  • Addison Emery Verrill
    Addison Emery Verrill
    Addison Emery Verrill was an American zoologist. He was a student of Louis Agassiz at Harvard University and graduated in 1862...

     Medal from the Peabody Museum of Natural History, 2007
  • TED Prize 2007 given yearly to honor a maximum of three individuals who have shown that they can, in some way, positively impact life on this planet.
  • XIX Premi Internacional Catalunya 2007
  • Member of the World Knowledge Dialogue Honorary Board, and Scientist in Residence for the 2008 symposium organized in Crans-Montana (Switzerland).
  • Distinguished Lecturer, University of Iowa
    University of Iowa
    The University of Iowa is a public state-supported research university located in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. It is the oldest public university in the state. The university is organized into eleven colleges granting undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees...

    , 2008–2009
  • E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center on Nokuse Plantation in Walton County, Florida 2009 Video
  • Explorers Club Medal, 2009
  • BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology Category, 2010
  • Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture
    Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture
    The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture is presented for notable achievement in design or for distinguished contributions to the field of architecture. The award has been made annually since its establishment in 1966. The award is granted jointly by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and...

    , 2010
  • 2010 Heartland Prize
    Heartland Prize
    The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize is a literary prize created in 1988 by the newspaper The Chicago Tribune. It is awarded yearly in two categories: Fiction and Non-Fiction. These prizes are awarded to books that "reinforce and perpetuate the values of heartland America."- Chicago Tribune...

     for fiction for his first novel Anthill: A Novel
    Anthill: A Novel
    Anthill: A Novel is the first extended work of fiction written by Edward O. Wilson.The novel, published in 2010, won the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for fiction.-External links:* . New York Times. Accessed 2011-11-09....


Main works

  • The Theory of Island Biogeography
    The Theory of Island Biogeography
    The Theory of Island Biogeography is a 1967 book by Edward O. Wilson and Robert MacArthur which laid the foundations for the study of island biogeography. An edition with a new preface by Edward O. Wilson was published in 2001 ....

    , 1967, Princeton University Press (2001 reprint), ISBN 0-691-08836-5, with Robert H. MacArthur
    Robert MacArthur
    Robert Helmer MacArthur was an American ecologist who made a major impact on many areas of community and population ecology....

  • The Insect Societies, 1971, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-45490-1
  • Sociobiology: The New Synthesis
    Sociobiology: The New Synthesis
    Sociobiology: The New Synthesis is a book written by E. O. Wilson, which started the sociobiology debate, one of the great scientific controversies in biology of the 20th century...

    1975, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , (Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition, 2000 ISBN 0-674-00089-7)
  • On Human Nature
    On Human Nature
    On Human Nature is a 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by the Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson. The book tries to explain how different characteristics of humans and society can be explained from the point of view of evolution...

    , 1979, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-01638-6
  • Genes, Mind and Culture: The coevolutionary process, 1981, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-34475-8
  • Promethean fire: reflections on the origin of mind, 1983, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-71445-8
  • http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/WILBIO.htmlBiophilia, 1984, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-07441-6
  • Success and Dominance in Ecosystems: The Case of the Social Insects, 1990, Inter-Research, ISSN 0932-2205
  • The Ants
    The Ants
    The Ants is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, written in 1990, by E. O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler. It was a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1991.-Contents:...

    , 1990, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-04075-9, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
    Pulitzer Prize
    The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

    , with Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler is a German behavioral biologist and Sociobiologist whose primary study subjects are social insects and in particular ants. He is a co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Ants with Edward O. Wilson...

  • The Diversity of Life, 1992, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-21298-3,
    The Diversity of Life: Special Edition, ISBN 0-674-21299-1
  • The Biophilia Hypothesis
    Biophilia Hypothesis
    The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book entitled Biophilia.- Love of living systems :...

    , 1993, Shearwater Books, ISBN 1-55963-148-1, with Stephen R. Kellert
  • Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration
    Journey to the Ants
    Journey to the Ants: a Story of Scientific Exploration is a book first published in 1994, written by Edward O. Wilson and Bert Hölldobler. The book was written as a popularized account for the layman of the science earlier presented in their winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in...

    , 1994, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-48525-4, with Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler is a German behavioral biologist and Sociobiologist whose primary study subjects are social insects and in particular ants. He is a co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Ants with Edward O. Wilson...

  • Naturalist
    Naturalist (book)
    Naturalist is an autobiography by naturalist, entomologist, and sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson first published in 1994 by Island Press. In it he writes on his childhood and the beginnings of his interest in biology, on his work in entomology and myrmecology, on his work with biogeography, and on...

    , 1994, Shearwater Books, ISBN 1-55963-288-7
  • In Search of Nature, 1996, Shearwater Books, ISBN 1-55963-215-1, with Laura Simonds Southworth
  • Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
    Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
    Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge is a 1998 book by biologist E. O. Wilson. In this book, Wilson discusses methods that have been used to unite the sciences and might in the future unite them with the humanities...

    , 1998, Knopf, ISBN 0-679-45077-7
  • The Future of Life, 2002, Knopf, ISBN 0-679-45078-5
  • Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Ant Genus, 2003, Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , ISBN 0-674-00293-8
  • From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books. 2005, W. W. Norton.
  • The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth, September 2006, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-06217-5
  • Nature Revealed: Selected Writings 1949-2006, ISBN 0-8018-8329-6
  • The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies, 2009, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-06704-0, with Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler is a German behavioral biologist and Sociobiologist whose primary study subjects are social insects and in particular ants. He is a co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Ants with Edward O. Wilson...

  • Anthill: A Novel
    Anthill: A Novel
    Anthill: A Novel is the first extended work of fiction written by Edward O. Wilson.The novel, published in 2010, won the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for fiction.-External links:* . New York Times. Accessed 2011-11-09....

    , April 2010, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-07119-1
  • Kingdom of Ants: Jose Celestino Mutis and the Dawn of Natural History in the New World, 2010, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, with José María Gómez Durán
  • The Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct, 2011, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-33868-3, with Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler is a German behavioral biologist and Sociobiologist whose primary study subjects are social insects and in particular ants. He is a co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Ants with Edward O. Wilson...


Edited works

  • From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books, edited with introductions by Edward O. Wilson (2010 W.W. Norton)

See also


  • Sociobiology
    Sociobiology
    Sociobiology is a field of scientific study which is based on the assumption that social behavior has resulted from evolution and attempts to explain and examine social behavior within that context. Often considered a branch of biology and sociology, it also draws from ethology, anthropology,...

  • Biodiversity
    Biodiversity
    Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

  • Biophilia hypothesis
    Biophilia Hypothesis
    The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book entitled Biophilia.- Love of living systems :...

  • Westermarck effect
    Westermarck effect
    The Westermarck effect, or reverse sexual imprinting, is a hypothetical psychological effect through which people who live in close domestic proximity during the first few years of their lives become desensitized to later sexual attraction. This phenomenon was first hypothesized by Finnish...

  • Green economics
  • Evolutionary psychology
    Evolutionary psychology
    Evolutionary psychology is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional...

  • Human behavioral ecology
    Human behavioral ecology
    Human behavioral ecology or human evolutionary ecology applies the principles of evolutionary theory and optimization to the study of human behavioral and cultural diversity. HBE examines the adaptive design of traits, behaviors, and life histories of humans in an ecological context...

  • Dual inheritance theory
    Dual inheritance theory
    Dual inheritance theory , also known as gene-culture coevolution, was developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to explain how human behavior is a product of two different and interacting evolutionary processes: genetic evolution and cultural evolution...


  • Richard Machalek
    Richard Machalek
    Richard Machalek is a social theorist, sociobiologist, and professor of sociology.A student and colleague of sociobiologist E.O...

  • Barry Lopez
    Barry Lopez
    Barry Holstun Lopez is an American author, essayist, and fiction writer whose work is known for its environmental and social concerns.-Biography:...

  • Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler
    Bert Hölldobler is a German behavioral biologist and Sociobiologist whose primary study subjects are social insects and in particular ants. He is a co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Ants with Edward O. Wilson...

  • Myrmecology
    Myrmecology
    Myrmecology is the scientific study of ants, a branch of entomology. Some early myrmecologists considered ant society as the ideal form of society and sought to find solutions to human problems by studying them. Ants continue to be a model of choice for the study of questions on the evolution of...

  • Superorganism
    Superorganism
    A superorganism is an organism consisting of many organisms. This is usually meant to be a social unit of eusocial animals, where division of labour is highly specialised and where individuals are not able to survive by themselves for extended periods of time. Ants are the best-known example of...

  • Biomass
    Biomass
    Biomass, as a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently living organisms. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly, or converted into other energy products such as biofuel....

  • Encyclopedia of Life
    Encyclopedia of Life
    The Encyclopedia of Life is a free, online collaborative encyclopedia intended to document all of the 1.9 million living species known to science. It is compiled from existing databases and from contributions by experts and non-experts throughout the world...

  • The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll
    The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll
    The Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll was conducted in November 2005 and June 2008 by Prospect Magazine and Foreign Policy on the basis of responding readers' ballot...



External links


Bio


Videos

  • "On the Relation of Science and Humanities" - lecture at Harvard@Home
  • "From So Simple a Beginning: The Four Great Books of Charles Darwin" - lecture at BookTV
  • Appearance on MeaningOfLife.tv - interview by Robert Wright
    Robert Wright (journalist)
    Robert Wright is an American journalist, scholar, and prize-winning author of best-selling books about science, evolutionary psychology, history, religion, and game theory, including The Evolution of God, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, The Moral Animal, and Three Scientists and Their Gods:...

  • Ubben Lecture at DePauw University
  • E. O. Wilson Charlie Rose
    Charlie Rose (talk show)
    Charlie Rose is an American television interview show, with Charlie Rose as executive producer, executive editor, and host. The show is syndicated...

    complete interviews
  • E.O. Wilson: TED Prize wish: Help build the Encyclopedia of Life TED
    TED (conference)
    TED is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading"....

    , March 2007, on the Encyclopedia of Life
    Encyclopedia of Life
    The Encyclopedia of Life is a free, online collaborative encyclopedia intended to document all of the 1.9 million living species known to science. It is compiled from existing databases and from contributions by experts and non-experts throughout the world...

  • Appearance on NOVA's
    NOVA (TV series)
    Nova is a popular science television series from the U.S. produced by WGBH Boston. It can be seen on the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States, and in more than 100 other countries...

     Little Creatures Who Run the World, 1997
  • Subject of NOVA's
    NOVA (TV series)
    Nova is a popular science television series from the U.S. produced by WGBH Boston. It can be seen on the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States, and in more than 100 other countries...

     Lord of the Ants, 2008 /
  • Wilson on music, from the documentary Behold The Earth
    Behold The Earth
    Behold the Earth is a feature-length musical documentary film that inquires into America's divorce from nature, built out of conversations with leading biologists and evangelical Christians, and directed by David Conover. The film is currently in production.-Cast:*E. O...


Interviews


Articles


Essays


Books