|Related: PCT Interview with E.O. Wilson
E.O. Wilson was the keynote speaker at PCT’s 2004 Ant Summit in Atlanta. Prior to his speech, PCT Publisher Dan Moreland had an opportunity to speak with the world’s leading authority on ants from his home in Boston, Mass. Click here for excerpts from that interview.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author E.O. Wilson, whose works include "The Ants," and last year's "The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance and Strangeness of Insect Societies," has a new book out titled “Anthill.”
The story centers around Raphael "Raff" Semmes Cody, a shy, nature-loving boy growing up in the rapidly urbanizing New South. His refuge from a troubled family is the Nokobee tract, a pristine section in south Alabama that teems with plants and animals, many found nowhere else on Earth. Drawing from his own boyhood tramps through Alabama woods and swamps, where his love of science was kindled, Wilson sets young Raff on a similar path. The youth becomes expert on the Nokobee's flora and fauna, especially the dueling colonies of ants whose elaborate mounds ring the lake's Dead Owl Cove.
As a teen, Raff realizes that encroaching development and the community's unfettered enthusiasm for it - an attitude shared by some members of his own family - threatens the Nokobee tract's extinction. Raff hatches a perilous rescue plan, one that will land him in an ethical minefield.
What Wilson, an ardent conservationist, attempts in his ambitious first novel is to draw out the similarities between human turf battles and their insect counterparts', and to show the profound and irreversible impact of one upon the other.
Click here to read more.