Edward Osborne Wilson was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1929 and educated at the Universities of Alabama (B.S. and M.S.) and Harvard (Ph.D.). He served as Professor at Harvard University since 1964, where he took several distinguished Chairs. He is currently Pellegrino University Research Professor of Entomology and Honorary Curator in Entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard and Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Enquiry. Nick-named «Dr. Ant,» Professor Wilson developed his profound interest in nature since he was a child. At the age of 13, he discovered the first ever coloy of fire ants in the United States, invaders from South America. Drawing from his profound knowledge of these earth,s «little creatures,» he wrote what is probably his most important book, The Diversity of Life, in which he describes how an intricately interconnected natural system is threatened by a man-made biodiversity crisis he calls the “sixth extiction.” His most recent work focuses on the impact of human activity on life on earth. He is the Founder and Director of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.
Professor Wilson’s unequalled contributions extend to the fields of ecology, systematic, conservational and behavioral biology, biogeography and ethical philosophy. He is the founder of the modern biodiversity movement and the father of sociobiology, a field that seeks to uncover the biological basis of human and animal behavior. The two most widely accepted concepts in ecology on which much basic and applied research rests are those of the r-K selection and island biodiversity. Both of these concepts were proposed by Wilson with the late Robert McArthur of Princeton University. The first concept is pivotal in evolutionary biology, while the second is the basis for all work on conservation and biodiversity.
Professor Wilson’s overall contribution represents an ambitious attempt to bring together, within a single conceptual framework, the various fields of knowledge from the natural sciences through the social sciences, to the humanities and arts. He authored or co-authored more than 400 scientific articles and 20 books, and edited 6 other books. Five of his articles and books were identified as classic citations.
Professor Wilson is one of the most accomplished biologists and the most celebrated intellectuals of the 20th century. He received more than 100 prestigious awards in science, letters and conservation, including the King Faisal International Prize for Science, the Crafood Medal of the Royal Swedish Academy, the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society
and the US National Medal of Science, in addition to 26 honorary doctoral degrees and Honorary Fellowships of nearly all prestigious science academies and societies worldwide. Two of his books won the renowned Pulitzer prize.
In 1995, Time magazine named Professor Wilson as one of the 25 most influential Americans, in 2000 both Time and Audubon magazines named him one of the century’s 100 leading environmentalists.
In 2005 Foreign Policy named him one of the world’s 100 leading intellectuals. He is also a laureate of the International Academy of Humanism and has most recently been awarded the 2010 Thomas Jefferson Medal.
Professor Wilson, has been awarded the prize, because he is one of the most outstanding biologists of the century. He has been a pioneer of major scientific disciplines: the field of sociobiology which seeks to elucidate the genetic basis of human and animal behavior, the study of species within ecosystems, and the conservation of the biological diversity of species. In addition, he has made an ambitious attempt to bring together, in a single conceptual framework, various fields of knowledge, from natural and social sciences to humanities and the arts.