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‘Modern-day Darwin’ E. O. Wilson dead at 92

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Edward O. Wilson, co-author of “The Ants,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction, poses for a portrait on June 10, 1991.

US: Edward. O. Wilson, the trailblazing US scientist, professor and author whose study of insects and clarion call to protect Earth earned him the nickname “Darwin’s natural heir,” has died at age 92.

Wilson, whose death was announced Monday by his foundation, was an award-winning biologist and longtime Harvard University research professor, considered the world’s leading authority on ants and their behavior.

While an entomologist early in his career, he broadened his scope immensely, studying not just insects but the social interactions of birds, mammals and humans, and he effectively — and controversially — established a new field of science known as sociobiology.

He was the author of hundreds of scientific papers and more than 30 books, two of which won him Pulitzer Prizes for nonfiction: 1978’s “On Human Nature,” and “The Ants” in 1990.

“Ed’s holy grail was the sheer delight of the pursuit of knowledge,” said Paula Ehrlich, president of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and co-founder of the Half-Earth Project.

“A relentless synthesizer of ideas, his courageous scientific focus and poetic voice transformed our way of understanding ourselves and our planet.

“His greatest hope was that students everywhere share his passion for discovery as the ultimate scientific foundation for future stewardship of our planet.”

Wilson, who died Sunday in Massachusetts, had become renowned for his advances in global conservation, and advised preeminent scientific and conservation organizations.

Time magazine two decades ago described him as having “one of the great careers in 20th century science,” as it highlighted his work mapping the social behavior of ants and proving their colonies communicate through a system of chemicals known today as pheromones.

Among his other honors was the 1990 Crafoord Prize in biosciences from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the highest scientific award in the field. Time magazine named him one of America’s 25 most influential people in 1996.- THE HINDUSTAN TIMES

Wednesday, December 29, 2021 – 01:00











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