Harvard entomologist E.O. Wilson joins us to discuss his new book, "The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies." Wilson is faculty emeritus in the department of entomology at Harvard University and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction.
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E.O. Wilson & Bert Hölldobler | The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance and Strangeness of Insect Societies
Recorded 12/2/2008 - Eighteen years after the publication of their exhaustive and Pulitzer Prize-winning study The Ants, co-authors E.O. Wilson and Bert Holldobler present a new study of social insects: ants, bees, wasps, and termites, among others, that collectively form ”superorganisms,” i.e. tightly knit colonies of individuals, formed by altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor. A basic stage of biological organization midway between organism and species, the ”superorganism” is helping us understand evolution and how biological life progresses from simple to complex forms. E.O. Wilson, a Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, where he taught for nearly five decades, is the author of more than 20 books and the recipient of two Pulitzer prizes and the National Medal of Science. Bert Hölldobler is Foundation Professor of Biology at Arizona State University and the recipient of the U.S. Senior Scientist Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Germany’s Leibniz Prize. Dr. Arthur Caplan, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Director, Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, will interview Wilson and Hölldobler.