Naturalist

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Island Press, Apr 24, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 394 pages
9 Reviews
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Edward O. Wilson -- University Professor at Harvard, winner of two Pulitzer prizes, eloquent champion of biodiversity -- is arguably one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. His career represents both a blueprint and a challenge to those who seek to explore the frontiers of scientific understanding. Yet, until now, little has been told of his life and of the important events that have shaped his thought.In Naturalist, Wilson describes for the first time both his growth as a scientist and the evolution of the science he has helped define. He traces the trajectory of his life -- from a childhood spent exploring the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida to life as a tenured professor at Harvard -- detailing how his youthful fascination with nature blossomed into a lifelong calling. He recounts with drama and wit the adventures of his days as a student at the University of Alabama and his four decades at Harvard University, where he has achieved renown as both teacher and researcher.As the narrative of Wilson's life unfolds, the reader is treated to an inside look at the origin and development of ideas that guide today's biological research. Theories that are now widely accepted in the scientific world were once untested hypotheses emerging from one mans's broad-gauged studies. Throughout Naturalist, we see Wilson's mind and energies constantly striving to help establish many of the central principles of the field of evolutionary biology.The story of Wilson's life provides fascinating insights into the making of a scientist, and a valuable look at some of the most thought-provoking ideas of our time.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - breic - LibraryThing

For a scientist's memoir, there was disappointingly little science. I suspect Wilson wanted to avoid repeating what he had already said in his other popular books. (My favorite Wilson books were ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dypaloh - LibraryThing

After reading Edward O. Wilson’s Naturalist, I can’t help worrying about the welfare of Lilliputian zombies. All right, I know you are rolling your eyes, but listen, this is a real concern. I’ll ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Paradise Beach
5
Send Us the Boy
16
A Light in the Corner
31
A Magic Kingdom
45
To Do My Duty
58
Alabama Dreaming
78
The Hunters
96
GoodBye to the South
120
The Molecule Wars
214
Islands Are the Key
234
The Flordia Keys Experiment
256
Ants
278
Attaining Sociobiology
303
The Sociobiology Controversy
326
Biodiversity Biophilia
350
Afterword
361

Orizaba
135
STORYTELLER
155
The South Pacific
159
The Forms of Things Unknown
193
Acknowledgments
373
Index
377
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor and curator of entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.

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