E.O. Wilson Coming to Penn State

I am a huge E.O. Wilson fan. His work on evolution, ecology, and love for life - what he calls "biophilia - has had an enormous impact on me personally and professionally. He is, to my mind, one of the 5 or 10 most important living voices on conservation and love of the land (along with Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, Lester Brown, Wolfgang Sachs, and the Ehrlichs to name some others) in the world. To my mind, his book The Creation is one of the best pieces of scientifically informed outreach to the religious community on the importance of saving biodiversity. You have the chance to see him at Penn State next week.

He is coming to Penn State's University Park campus on Monday April 16, 2012 as part of the 8th annual Colloquium on the Environment speaker series. His talk "The Social Conquest of Earth" is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in 100 Thomas Building. A book signing and reception will immediately follow his lecture. Event is free and open to the public.

Wilson, the legendary biologist, is widely considered the father of the modern environmental movement. Named one of America's 25 Most Influential People by TIME magazine, and a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he has made a giant contribution to our understanding of the rich spectrum of Earth's biodiversity. In his lectures, he makes a persuasive, eloquent plea to government, corporate and religious leaders to address the damage we have done to our planet before it's too late.

Wilson's works include Ants and On Human Nature, which both won the Pulitzer Prize; The Future of Life, which offers a plan for saving Earth's biological heritage; Consilience, which draws together the sciences, humanities, and the arts into a broad study of human knowledge; The Creation, a plea for science and religion to work together to save the planet; and From So Simple a Beginning, a collection of the four seminal works of Darwin, with new introductions by Wilson. His 2008 book, The Superorganism, was hailed by The New York Times as "an astonishing account of the intricate and unexpected swarm intelligence of wasps, bees, ants and termites."

A recent project of Wilson's, The Encyclopedia of Life website, catalogs all key information about life of Earth-- including data about every living species -- and makes it accessible to everyone. Launched with money from his 2007 TED Prize, the EOL recently received an additional ten million dollars from The MacArthur Foundation. Wilson is also the recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Science, the Crafoord Prize (a sister to the Nobel), and the Audubon Medal. He is the University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, and continues to research at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Recently, Wilson teamed with Harrison Ford to create a new PEN Literary award titled the PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing.

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