Edward O. Wilson was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1929. He is the author of two Pulitzer Prize-winning books, On Human Nature (1978) and The Ants (1990, with Bert Hoelldobler), as well as many other groundbreaking works, including Consilience, Naturalist, and Sociobiology. A recipient of many of the world's leading prizes in science and conservation, he is currently Pellegrino University Research Professor and Honorary Curator in Entomology of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, with his wife, Renee.
With steadfast optimism and enlightened erudition, Harvard naturalist and evolutionist Wilson (In Search of Nature, LJ 9/15/96) argues that scientific inquiry is progressing toward a comprehensive view of this universe in light of the essential unity of all reality. He envisions a future synthesis of the special sciences and humanities that will support a pervasive materialistic worldview. Reminiscent of Auguste Comte, Condorcet, and Francis Bacon, Wilson gives priority to physical laws and objective evidence over all those concepts and beliefs that question the power of science to unravel the unity of nature. In particular, linking genes and cultures, he claims that even mental activity (including creativity) will be understood and appreciated in terms of the evolved epigenetic rules, anatomy, and physiology of the human brain. Other topics treated include consciousness, complexity, reductionism, and the deep origins of human nature. As a bold blueprint for ongoing human inquiry, this provocative book is recommended for large academic and public science collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/97.]‘H. James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY
"A dazzling journey across the sciences and humanities in search of deep laws to unite them." --The Wall Street Journal
"An original work of synthesis . . . a program of unrivalled ambition: to unify all the major branches of knowledge--sociology, economics, the arts and religion--under the banner of science." --The New York Times "As elegant in its prose as it is rich in its ideas . . . a book of immense importance." --Atlanta Journal & Constitution "Edward O. Wilson is a hero. . . he has made landmark scientific discoveries and has a writing style to die for. . . . A complex and nuanced argument." --Boston Globe "One of the clearest and most dedicated popularizers of science since T. H. Huxley. . . . Mr. Wilson can do the science and the prose." --Time "An excellent book. Wilson provides superb overviews of Western intellectual history and the current state of understanding in many academic disciplines." -- Slate "The Renaissance scholar still lives. . . . A sensitive, wide-ranging mind discoursing beautifully. . . . Wilson's buoyant intellectual courage is bracing." --Seattle Weekly