Wilson's Life Scientific

Wilson talks to Jim al-Khalili about his life scientific. bbc

In 1996, Wilson officially retired from teaching at Harvard University, where he continues to hold the positions of Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology. wikipedia

Wilson has been described as the "world's most evolved biologist" and even as "the heir to Darwin". He's a passionate naturalist and an absolute world authority on ants. Over his long career he's described 450 new species of ants.

Known to many as the founding father of socio-biology, E O Wilson is a big hitter in the world of evolutionary theory. But, recently he's criticised what's popularly known as The Selfish Gene theory of evolution that he once worked so hard to promote (and that now underpins the mainstream view on evolution).

A twice Pulitzer prize winning author of more than 20 books, he's also an extremely active campaigner for the preservation of the planet's bio-diversity: he says, "destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal".


I'm inspired by the BBC Life Scientific interview with Wilson where he recounts his own career developing much of the science, living through the scientific battles, embracing mathematics over rhetoric, and then dedicating his later years to species diversity as a direct consequence of his deep understanding of life's processes.