At the Half-Earth Project, we are excited to commemorate E.O. Wilson’s 92nd birthday, his lifetime commitment to understanding and protecting the natural world, and his determination to inspire us to do the same. Dr. Wilson has said, “There can be no purpose more inspiring than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us.”
Over the last nine decades, E.O. Wilson has watched our earth’s environment shift and has been a leader in using science to find ways to preserve and protect our planet. From his boyhood in Alabama to his tenure at Harvard, E.O. Wilson’s curiosity, drive and passion for the species that live alongside us has transformed our understanding of our environment. And that passion has never flagged. Join us at the Half-Earth Project as we wish him a happy birthday and look forward to another ambitious year ahead.
“Dr. Wilson has relayed to me over and over how touched he is to see how people have come together around the extraordinary goal of the Half-Earth Project. Your participation, pledges, gifts, and actions support the science, education, and culture change needed to protect sufficient habitat to reverse species extinction and ensure the health of our planet,” said Dr. Paula Ehrlich, CEO & President of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, and co-founder of the Half-Earth Project.
His influence—as a scientist, teacher, researcher, and author—has profoundly touched so many lives. Perhaps yours. And his thought leadership has informed the increased ambition for biodiversity conservation we are so fortunate to be witnessing today. From President Biden’s America the Beautiful Plan, which aims to conserve 30 percent of the nation’s land and water by 2030, to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s push for 30X30, E.O. Wilson’s writings, lectures and research have inspired the scientific community and world’s leaders to act to safeguard global biodiversity.
His accomplishments and accolades are vast: He has written more than 30 books, published more than 400 scientific papers, received more than 150 prestigious awards, and won not one, but two Pulitzer Prizes in general nonfiction for his works On Human Nature in 1979 and The Ants in 1991. After all of this, he could be content to rest on his laurels. But that is not the man he is—a man who in the last 10 years has published almost as many books and who remains a critical voice in the race to preserve earth’s biodiversity.
These accomplishments over nearly a century of work would mean less without the lives—both human and otherwise—he has worked alongside, inspired, and been inspired by. His colleague and friend Dr. Piotr Naskrecki, who currently directs the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, remembers the first time he visited the park with E.O. Wilson saw the top of Mount Gorongosa. “We were just absolutely giddy to be able to go there and be the first entomologists to collect insects there. Of course, the moment [E.O. Wilson] hopped out of the helicopter that took us to the top of the mountain he began collecting not just ants, but just about everything. It was just such a pleasure to see him do that. Ed has been a force in Gorongosa. He’s been an inspiration,” shared Piotr.
Happy birthday, E.O. Wilson, and thank you for helping usher in this age of restoration.