‘Father of sociobiology’ to present final talk in President’s Lecture Series

Legendary biologist Edward O. Wilson will present “The Social Conquest of Earth” — the final lecture in this year’s President’s Lecture Series — April 3 at 8 p.m. in Rice Memorial Center’s Grand Hall. Seating opens at 7 p.m. His talk is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the lecture.

Edward Wilson


Known as the “father of sociobiology,” Wilson has made a giant contribution to understanding of the rich spectrum of Earth’s biodiversity. In his lectures, Wilson makes a persuasive, eloquent plea to government, corporate and religious leaders to address the damage humans have done to the planet before it’s too late.

His works include two Pulitzer Prizer winners — “The Ants” and “On Human Nature”; “The Future of Life,” which offers a plan for saving Earth’s biological heritage; and “The Creation,” a plea for science and religion to work together to save the planet. His 2008 book, “The Superorganism,” was hailed by The New York Times as “an astonishing account of the intricate and unexpected swarm intelligence of wasps, bees, ants and termites.” His newest book, to be released this spring, is “The Social Conquest of Earth.” Wilson’s recent project, the Encyclopedia of Life website, catalogs all key information about life on Earth — including data about every living species — and makes it accessible to everyone.

Wilson is the recipient of the National Medal of Science, the Crafoord Prize (a sister to the Nobel Prize) and the Audubon Medal. He is the Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University.

Previous speakers in this year’s series were Beverly Wright, an advocate for environmental justice and one of theGrio’s 100 “history makers in the making,” and Francisco Cigarroa, the first Hispanic to serve as chancellor of the University of Texas System.

Each year, the President’s Lecture Series brings to the Rice campus a variety of stimulating speakers on a range of topics. Rice is offers the lecture series as a means of enhancing the intellectual life not only of the Rice community, but of its neighbors throughout the city of Houston.

The President’s Lecture Series is sponsored by the Office of the President and is supported by the J. Newton Rayzor Lecture Fund.

For more information, e-mail ricepls@rice.edu or call 713-348-5585.



About Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans is a senior editor in the Rice's Office of Public Affairs.