“A boyhood dream, except that I was able to live that dream,” Wilson said. “[By high school] I thought that maybe I could become a ranger in a park, maybe I could become an entomologist studying insects, the kind who advises farmers on how to control pests and so on. And somehow I thought I could make a living, when I grew up, in the outdoors. The big thing was to never, ever have to come in from the outdoors.”
By the time he headed to college at the University of Alabama, he had decided on ants as his research focus.
Wilson first joined Harvard’s faculty in 1956 and introduced the concept of sociobiology, the systematic study of the biological basis of social behavior in all kinds of organisms, nearly five decades ago. In 1995 he was named among the 25 most influential Americans by TIME.
The World Ecology Award that the Harris Center will bestow on Wilson this Friday, April 20, recognizes individuals who have raised public awareness of global ecological issues and made significant contributions to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.
Previous recipients of the award include marine biologist Sylvia Earle (2016), Albert II, Prince of Monaco (2013), Harrison Ford (2002), Jane Goodall (1999) and John Denver (1990), among others.
What: World Ecology Award Gala
When: 6 p.m. Friday, April 20, 2018
Where: St. Louis Zoo (1 Government Dr., St. Louis, MO 63110)
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