News & Events

E.O. Wilson

E.O. Wilson

Edward O. Wilson to Address President’s Convocation at Illinois Wesleyan

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Edward O. Wilson, internationally acclaimed entomologist, biologist, and author, will be the featured speaker at the President’s Convocation at Illinois Wesleyan University Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall.

The event is free and open to the public. In addition to the convocation, Wilson will hold a question-and-answer session and a book signing at the Hansen Student Center on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 4 p.m.

Wilson is Pellegrino University Research Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University where he also serves as honorary curator in entomology for the Museum of Comparative Zoology.

A native of Alabama, Wilson earned the B.S. and M.S. from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He joined the faculty at Harvard in 1956. A leading voice for the preservation of biodiversity, he is the founder of a field of study relating social behavior to genetic advantage. His 1975 publication, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis renewed the debate of nature vs. nurture and made him one of the most controversial scientists at that time.

In 1996, TIME Magazine named Wilson one of “America’s 25 Most Influential People,” and Tom Wolfe, writing in Forbes magazine, hailed him as “a new Darwin.” He has won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction twice — in 1979 for On Human Nature and again in 1991 for The Ants, which he wrote with Harvard colleague Bert Holldobler.

Wilson’s 1992 volume, The Diversity of Life, brought together knowledge of the magnitude of biodiversity and the threats to it and had a major public impact.

Published in 1998, Wilson’s Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge draws together the sciences, humanities, and the arts into a broad study of human knowledge. Most recently, he wrote The Future of Life (2002), which offers a plan for saving Earth’s biological heritage.

Wilson has won countless awards, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the Craaford Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the National Medal of Science for his research on pheromones. He is also the recipient of 27 honorary doctoral degrees from North America and Europe.