Fort Worth, TX (PRWEB) April 21, 2009
Biologist Edward O. Wilson, Ph.D., praised as ''one of the world's greatest living scientists'' and known as the ''father of biodiversity,'' will receive the 2009 International Award of Excellence in Conservation from the Botanical Research Institute of Texas on Thursday, April 30, 2009, at a dinner here at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel. A winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, Dr. Wilson is Honorary Curator in Entomology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, at Harvard University, and he has initiated the worldwide Encyclopedia of Life project to catalog the Earth's known 1.8 million species.
"We are honored to present this award to Dr. Wilson," said S. H. Sohmer, Ph.D., BRIT's president and director. "He is a remarkable scientist whose accomplishments are legendary."
BRIT created the award in 1995 to honor individuals and organizations that exemplify the ideals expressed in its mission: to conserve our natural heritage by deepening our knowledge of the plant world and achieving public understanding of the value that plants bring to life. For information about the award dinner, go to http://www.brit.org .
Dr. Wilson decided to focus on what was right under his nose after a fishing accident left him blinded in his right eye at the age of seven. He specialized in myrmecology, the scientific study of ants, but his focus broadened to include evolutionary biology, the biology of social insects, the classification of ants, biogeography, and ethical philosophy. Internationally revered as a ''genius of modern science and one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century,'' he practices consilience, the linking together of principles from different disciplines to form a comprehensive theory. Now 79, he has evolved into being a leading advocate for conservation and biodiversity.
Of his 22 books, On Human Nature (1978) and The Ants with Bert Hölldobler (1990) won Pulitzer prizes. He established the field of study known as ''sociobiology'' with his 1975 book, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis.
Dr. Wilson has received some 121 awards in science, letters, the environment, teaching, and as general recognition, including the National Medal of Science; the Tercentenary Silver Medal from the Linnean Society of London, and the Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) Prize.
About the Botanical Research Institute of Texas:
Opened in 1991 in Fort Worth, Texas, BRIT is a nonprofit international botanical resource center open to the public. It has conducted extensive research in tropical rainforests in the Philippines, Costa Rica, and currently in Peru and Papua New Guinea.
With a collection of approximately one million dried plant specimens representing most of the Earth's plant families, BRIT has one of the largest herbaria in the United States. It has the largest independent herbarium in the Southwest and one of the world's best collections of Texas plant specimens. Its botanical library houses more than 100,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and journals from more than 100 countries.