NOTE: Masks are required for all guests ages 2 and up, and all member and nonmember tickets must be reserved in advance. Learn more about how you can join us!

#bioPGH Blog: In Memory of E.O. Wilson, 1929 – 2021
Dec 30

#bioPGH Blog: In Memory of E.O. Wilson, 1929 – 2021

By Phipps Staff

We at Phipps are saddened to learn of the passing of biologist and writer E.O. Wilson. In his seminal 1984 book Biophilia, Dr. Wilson explored the evolutionary underpinning of an innate human desire to be connected to the natural world — a desire which is too often left unfulfilled and unexplored in modern living. With this and other works, from his fascinating early studies of pheromone communication between ants to his well-known sociobiology studies which have shaped our understanding of the role of biology in both animal and human behavior, Dr. Wilson helped us not only to understand the world but to shift our view of our role within it.

Dr. Wilson’s “biophilia” hypothesis has driven the Phipps mission into exciting new territory in the past decade, from the construction of buildings on our campus like the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, which blur the line between the built and natural environments, to our Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting series and #bioPGH blog, which serve as vehicles for the deeper exploration that biophilia provokes within us. In these and other ways, we hope to carry on Dr. Wilson’s legacy; in all we do, we proceed from the understanding that a love of nature resides within all of us, and that it need only be rekindled to bring about the will to ensure human and environmental health are secured for the future.

To learn more about Dr. Wilson and his work, watch the 2015 PBS special Of Ants and Men, embedded below:

Photo © Jim Harrison