Edward Osborne Wilson (June 10, 1929 – December 26, 2021) was an American biologist, naturalist, and writer. His specialty was myrmecology, the study of ants, on...
Edward Osborne Wilson (June 10, 1929 – December 26, 2021) was an American biologist, naturalist, and writer. His specialty was myrmecology, the study of ants, on which he was called the world's leading expert, and he was nicknamed Ant Man.Wilson has been called "the father of sociobiology" and "the father of biodiversity" for his environmental advocacy, and his secular-humanist and deist ideas pertaining to religious and ethical matters. Among his contributions to ecological theory is the theory of island biogeography (developed in collaboration with the mathematical ecologist Robert MacArthur), which served as the foundation of the field of conservation area design, as well as the unified neutral theory of biodiversity of Stephen P. Hubbell.
Wilson was the Pellegrino University Research Professor, Emeritus in Entomology for the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, a lecturer at Duke University, and a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. The Royal Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize, awarded Dr. Wilson the Crafoord Prize, an award designed to cover areas not covered by Nobel Prizes. He was a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism. He was a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction (for On Human Nature in 1979, and The Ants in 1991) and a New York Times bestselling author for The Social Conquest of Earth, Letters to a Young Scientist, and The Meaning of Human Existence.
Wilson was recognised as one of the most important scientists and influential people in the world by publications such as Time and the Encyclopædia Britannica. He received more than 150 prestigious awards and medals around the world, and was an honorary member of more than 30 world renowned and prestigious organizations, academies and institutions. Several animal species have been scientifically named in his honor, mostly ant species as well as one bird and one bat species.