Edward O. Wilson Lecture Leads Week Long Celebration for Harned Hall

September 12, 2006

Tacoma, Wash. - Considered by many to be the father of the modern environmental movement, Harvard Professor Emeritus Edward O. Wilson will deliver the fall 2006 Swope Lecture on Tuesday, September 26, at 7:30 p.m., at Schneebeck Concert Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the planned festivities to celebrate the completion of Harned Hall, which anchors the university’s new $64.5 million dollar Science Center at Puget Sound. Directions to campus are available at www.ups.edu/directions.xml.

Wilson has made enormous contributions to the field of conservation. One of the most highly respected scientists in the world today, he has been hailed as "the new Darwin" by Thomas Wolfe, and as one of "America's 25 Most Influential People" by TIME Magazine. He has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for The Arts and On Human Nature.

During his talk, Wilson draws on the ideas of his best-selling book, The Future of Life, to make a passionate and eloquent plea for a new approach to the management and protection of our ecosystem. Marshalling arguments from science, economics, and ethics, he demonstrates that proper stewardship of the earth's biodiversity is not an option - it is a necessity, a choice we must make if life is going to continue to thrive on the only home we have.

In his new book, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth, Wilson sounds the alarm that the earth is in danger and its destruction threatens us all—no matter what we believe about its origins. The fate of the planet rests in our hands, he writes, and the only way the earth can be saved is if science and religion join forces.

Wilson has received 75 awards in international recognition for his contributions to science and humanity, including the U.S. National Medal of Science, Japan's International Prize for Biology, the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Germany's Terrestrial Ecology Prize, and the Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society. For his conservation work he has received the Audubon Medal of the National Audubon Society and the Gold Medal of the World Wide Fund for Nature. He is also the recipient of 27 honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in North America and Europe. Today he continues entomological and environmental research at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.

The Swope Endowed Lectureship was established at Puget Sound through a gift from Major Ianthe Swope in honor of her mother, Jane Hammer Swope. The lectureship is intended to promote broad discussions, critical thinking, and ethical inquiry about matters of religion, such as its role in public life, issues in contemporary spirituality, ethics, and world religions. Past speakers in the series include: Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias, author James Carroll, Rita Nakashima Brock, and Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

For more information on the Wilson lecture, contact the university of Puget Sound Center for Spirituality and Justice at 253.879.3374 or the Wheelock Information Center at 253.879.3419.

Editor’s Note: A high-resolution photograph of Wilson is available on the university’s Web site at www.ups.edu/pressphotos.xml.