/ Modified may 1, 2010 2:24 a.m.

NOVA Lord of the Ants

A portrait of scientist E. O. Wilson, architect of the controversial discipline called sociobiology and a driving force for worldwide conservation. Tuesday, May 20th 8:00 pm KUAT6

![Edward O. Wilson][eo-wilson-harvard]

At age 78, E.O. Wilson is still going through his "little savage" phase of boyhood exploration of the natural world. NOVA profiles this soft-spoken Southerner and Professor Emeritus at Harvard, who is an acclaimed advocate for ants, biological diversity, and the controversial extension of Darwinian ideas to human society.

Wilson is also renowned for two seemingly unrelated roles. First, he is the "ant man," whose infectious enthusiasm for his scientific specialty has encouraged many house dwellers to reach for a magnifying glass instead of ant traps when faced with these tiny invaders. NOVA films Wilson exuberantly plunging his hand into a bed of fire ants and then calmly observing that each of the scores of stings he is receiving feels like "the touch of a hot needle."

Second, Wilson hit the headlines and became a lightning rod in academic circles for his 1975 book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, which held that evolutionary principles could explain social behavior throughout the animal kingdom, including in humans.

See previews and find out more at pbs.org

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