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Fellows Directory

Edward Wilson

Professor Edward Wilson ForMemRS

Foreign Member


Elected: 1990

Biography

Edward Wilson is a biologist and the founder of sociobiology, the study of the genetic basis of social behaviour in animals, including humans. He is the world’s leading authority on ants, particularly focusing on the interactions that take place between members of the same species.

Edward discovered that ants communicate through pheromones, with innate behaviours being triggered by these chemical signals. In his theories of sociobiology, Edward proposed that the biological principles of animal societies also apply to humans, although he believes that only ten per cent of human behaviour is genetically induced, the rest being due to environment and past experiences.

He has also studied species extinction and its relationship to modern human societies, calling for the preservation of biodiversity. Edward played a key role in establishing the Encyclopedia of Life, a project that aims to create a web page for every species on Earth. He has been awarded the US National Medal of Science and is a two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups

Awards

  • Crafoord Prize

    In the field of biosciences for theory of island biogeography.

  • International Cosmos Prize

    No citation available for this award.

  • King Faisal International Prize

    In the field of biology.