April 13, 2004

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Contact: Victor Bailey, Hall Center for the Humanities, (785) 864-7822.

Biologist E.O. Wilson to speak at KU April 15 in Humanities Lecture Series

LAWRENCE -- The Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas will present renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at the Lied Center. Wilson's talk, "The Future of Life," is part of the 2003-04 Humanities Lecture Series, and the event is free and open to the public.

Wilson's lecture and colloquium will draw on his latest book, also called "The Future of Life," which proposes that humanity has reached an ecological "bottleneck." In the book, Wilson says that people must make drastic changes to the way they live and how they use the earth if the human race is going to survive.

For more than 40 years, Wilson˙s research has spanned the disciplines of biology, ecology and sociology. His unique approach to science led to the discovery of scent-based behavior controls called pheromones, for which he won the National Medal of Science in 1977. Wilson˙s research also led him to the controversial theory of gene-controlled behavior in humans that he outlined in his 1975 book, "Sociobiology." In 1995, Wilson was named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people in America. Jared Diamond, who won a Pulitzer Prize for "Guns, Germs and Steel," described Wilson as "one of the 20th century˙s greatest thinkers."

Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series is the oldest continuing series at KU. In the 50-year history of the series, more than 150 eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program, including author Vladimir Nabokov, painter Thomas Hart Benton and author Aldous Huxley. Shortly after the program˙s inception, a lecture by one outstanding KU faculty member each year was added to the schedule.

Wilson˙s lecture is the finale of the 2003-04 series, which also included author Sherman Alexie and historian Peter Gay. For more information, please contact the Hall Center at hallcenter@ku.edu or call (785) 864-7822.

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