E.O. Wilson in Africa: A Photo Gallery

The legendary biologist tries to save a park, discover new species, educate local children, and write a revolutionary new textbook

wilson.jpg

Image credit: Howard W. French

Edward O. Wilson was still a schoolboy when he decided to devote his life to ants. "I just fell in love with them," he told The Atlantic in 1998, "and have never regretted it."

Over the years, his affection for small insects grew into a fascination with all sciences and humanities. In a March 1998 Atlantic cover story called "Back From Chaos," Wilson, who is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, took issue with academics who stay trapped in a small corner of the universe. He urged them to connect the dots--to find the underlying harmony between all things. "A balanced perspective cannot be acquired by studying disciplines in pieces," he wrote. "Only fluency across the boundaries will provide a clear view of the world as it really is."

The Green ReportToday, in his early 80s, Wilson is still collecting bugs and still reinventing the way humans study the world. For our November 2011 issue, author Howard W. French followed the biologist to Africa and watched him strive to save a park, catalog new species, write a revolutionary textbook, and educate local children. Below are some of French's photos of the boyish octogenarian in action at Mozambique's Gorongosa Park. 

Presented by

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Global

Just In