E.O. Wilson Contributes Foreword To The Watchman’s Rattle

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Two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner and World Acclaimed Naturalist E.O. Wilson Contributes Foreword To The Watchman’s Rattle A Lead Title This Fall By Rebecca D. Costa from Vanguard Press

The Watchman’s Rattle, the first book by thought-leader Rebecca D. Costa, will be published in October 2010 as a lead title by Vanguard Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. It will feature a foreword by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson, Harvard professor and author of On Human Nature, Consilience, The Creation, The Superorganism, and most recently, the bestselling novel, Anthill. Such endorsements by Wilson are rare, and are particularly notable because they carry the weight of his undebated worldwide prominence in the study of evolution, ecology, biology, and sociobiology. In his foreword, Wilson offers high praise for Costa’s revelations concerning the relationship between complexity and the growing inability of leaders, scientists, and experts to solve civilization’s dangerous problems. Wilson writes, “I am on the side of Rebecca Costa … We need to grasp the increasing complexity of our social and political arrangements, and reach solutions. Ms. Costa urges us to do so by employing the better instruments of our genetic nature.

“In The Watchman’s Rattle, Rebecca Costa presents a view of the parlous human condition with which I completely agree,” Wilson continues. “The primary cause of all the threatening trends is the complexity of civilization itself, which has reached the point that it cannot be understood and managed by the cognitive tools we have thus far chosen to use. We need to use knowledge and reason and take an honest look at ourselves as a species.”

E.O. Wilson has made significant contributions to several fields, including his work Biophilia that led to the concept and study of biodiversity and the shaping of the modern global conservation ethic. The originator of the new discipline of sociobiology — the systematic study of the biological basis of social behavior in all kinds of organisms, he wrote Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, which has been ranked the most important book on animal behavior of all time, and is considered the founding text of sociobiology and its offshoot, evolutionary psychology. With Charles Lumsden he developed the first general theory of gene-culture coevolution (and introduced the term) in Genes, Mind, and Culture. Wilson is also the co-developer of the theory of island biogeography, which greatly influenced the discipline of ecology and became a cornerstone of conservation biology, and has shaped the planning and assessment of parks and reserves around the world. He also was key in the development of the new field of chemical ecology, the chemical (pheromone) communication among all plants and microorganisms, as well as the vast majority of animals. In addition, Wilson is renowned for his studies of ants in the Western Hemisphere. He is the Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology at Harvard University.

In her new book The Watchman’s Rattle, Rebecca Costa explains how the same principles that govern evolution cause, and provide the solution for, the collapse of civilizations. She pulls headlines from today’s news to demonstrate how accelerating complexity quickly outpaces the rate at which the human brain can develop new capabilities to manage it. As a result, society’s ability to solve its most challenging, seemingly intractable problems — the Gulf oil spill, climate change, a global recession — becomes gridlocked, progress slows, and collapse ensues, as it did in the Roman, Khmer, and Mayan civilizations. Taking the next step, Costa reveals how we can reverse the downward spiral. She presents scientific evidence that the human brain can be retrained to comprehend, analyze, and resolve massively complex problems. We can give ourselves brain tune-ups, cultivate “insight-on-demand” and make a significant impact on the challenges we face today. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman’s Rattle confronts the biological obstacles that prevent progress and offers prescriptive measures.

Additional information on The Watchman’s Rattle can be found at http://www.rebeccacosta.com.

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