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Surprising Science

E.O. Wilson Still Revolutionizing Biology

Legendary biologist E.O. Wilson has been a pioneer in his field for decades. Now is working on an interactive textbook which he estimates may revolutionize how students learn. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Edward Osborne Wilson doesn’t understand why more biologists like himself aren’t straining to do field research at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. On his recent trip to the park, the legendary Harvard biologist sought to study the park and to preserve it for future generations. He was tailed by a documentary crew which, along with Wilson, has chosen the park as one of the backdrops for a new interactive digital textbook called Life on Earth. Wilson hopes that the book will revolutionize biology teaching in secondary schools. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Once one of Africa’s richest natural reserves, Gorongosa National Park became a battle ground in a civil war that raged from 1977 until 1992. Today, it is being repaired and Wilson looks toward its native species for insight into human evolution. One of Wilson’s fiercely contested theories is that humanity’s emergence as a social species is a result of our genes and not just the brain’s evolution. On his success as a biologist, Wilson says: “How successful you are depends on a small number of qualities and activities, and one of them is luck.”


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