Edward Osborne Wilson (1929–)
After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology at the University of Alabama, E.O. Wilson entered the doctoral program in biology at Harvard University, earning his Ph.D. in 1955. Wilson’s early work was primarily in entomology, and his studies on how ants use pheromones for communication were enormously influential. Wilson’s scientific studies have also extended to the fields of ecology, sociobiology, and evolution, arguing that it is the gene, not the individual organism that is the true focus of evolution. Wilson’s scientific work has won numerous honors and awards, and like Rachel Carson he has a clear, graceful writing style that makes his work accessible to ageneral audience as well as to scientists. He was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for his books On Human Nature (1979) and The Ants (1991).
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