2/23/01

Janet L. McCoy

INFLUENTIAL SCIENTIST E.O. WILSON TO SPEAK AT AU MARCH 6

AUBURN E.O. Wilson, one of the world's most highly respected and most controversial scientists, will give a 2000-2001 Littleton-Franklin Lecture in Science and Humanities at Auburn University on March 5.

A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Wilson, who is a professor of biology at Harvard University, will speak at 4 p.m., at the AU Hotel and Dixon Conference Center auditorium. In addition, the author will speak to AU classes on March 6.

A native Alabamian, Wilson's Pulitzer's were won for the books, On Human Nature and The Ants. In addition, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences. Wilson has won the National Medal of Science and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

His best-selling book, The Diversity of Life, made him a leader in the environmental movement and an advisor on preservation legislation at the highest levels of the U.S. government. He is a pioneer in the field of socio-biology and one of the most sought after science lecturers in the world.

His most recent book, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, is Wilson's argument that it is only by bridging the chasm between the arts and the sciences that we will understand the way our world works.

Harvard University Press has re-released the complete original version of Wilson's book, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, which is now available in paperback for the first time. When this work was first published in 1975, it created a new discipline and started a tumultuous round in the age-old nature versus nurture debate. Though voted by officers and fellows of the international animal behavior society the most important book on animal behavior of all time, the book is probably more widely known as the object of bitter attacks by social scientists and other scholars who opposed its claim that human social behavior, indeed human nature, has a biological foundation. The controversy surrounding the publication remains today.

The Littleton-Franklin Lectures has been sponsored since 1968 by the John and Mary Franklin Foundation of Atlanta Georgia. It also recognizes the services of Mosley Professor Emeritus Taylor D. Littleton.

In its 34rd year, the 2000-2001 lecture series will conclude with microbiologist Lynn Margulis on April 9.

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feb01:AU-wilson

CONTACT: Littleton-Franklin committee chair Philip Shevlin, 334/844- 4043.