E. O. Wilson facts for kids

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E. O. Wilson
Plos wilson.jpg
October 16, 2007
Born June 10, 1929 (1929-06-10) (age 91)
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Alabama
Harvard University
Known for biodiversity, sociobiology, evolution, ants

Pulitzer Prize (1979)
Crafoord Prize (1990)
Pulitzer Prize (1991)

Kistler Prize (2000)
Nierenberg Prize (2001)
Scientific career
Fields Biologist
Institutions Harvard University

Edward Osborne Wilson (born June 10, 1929) is an American biologist, naturalist and author. He is an entomologist who studies ants, but to the public he is known for sociobiology, biodiversity and conservation.

Wilson's writing has been very influential. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. He is known for his role as "the father of sociobiology", his environmentalism, and his secular humanist and deist ideas on religion and ethics.

He holds the posts of Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology, Harvard University, and a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism. He was awarded the National Medal of Science (1977), and the Crafoord Prize (1990), which recognizes research in scientific fields not eligible for the Nobel Prize.


Wilson's work (and books) falls into at least four categories:

  1. Ants. He was the twentieth century's leading expert on this group of social insects.
  2. Sociobiology. He created the term and wrote the book. He thinks evolution and genetics can be applied to the study of human nature. This part of his work has been highly controversial. The term is not as often used as it was before. The idea of evolutionary psychology is becoming more popular.
  3. Biodiversity and conservation. This part of his work is agreed by many other experts.
  4. Unity of knowledge. He argues that all knowledge – including humanities and social sciences – should be a kind of unified science. This is a philosophical view which has been put forward several times before without success.p228


  • 1990. Success and dominance in ecosystems: the case of the social insects. Inter-Research. ISSN 0932-2205
  • 2005. From so simple a beginning: Darwin's four great books. W.W. Norton, New York. Edited, with introductions by Edward O. Wilson.
  • 2010. Kingdom of ants: Jose Celestino Mutis and the dawn of natural history in the New World, with José María Gómez Durán. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

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