E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation
The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is shaped by the inspiration and guidance of Edward O. Wilson, who has been named one of the century’s leading environmentalists by both Time and Audubon Magazine. A Professor Emeritus at Harvard, E.O. Wilson is the greatest living scientist of our time. As a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and winner of over 100 awards, Wilson speaks about the urgent need for broader research and understanding of our biodiverse planet in order to protect key species and avoid unintended destruction of the ecosystems that sustain our lives. Wilson warns, “The loss of a keystone species is like a drill accidentally striking a power line. It causes lights to go out all over.” The inadvertent degradation of the natural world can be slowed, or even halted, however, through biodiversity research that expands our understanding of our ‘little known planet’ and that innovates in helping us to learn how to best care for it.
The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s mission is to foster a knowing stewardship of our world through biodiversity research and education initiatives that promote and inform worldwide preservation of our biological heritage. They believe that by enhancing our public understanding of biodiversity, we can foster a culture of stewardship in which people are inspired to conserve and protect the natural world.
They aim to foster a new generation of enthusiastic explorers, environmental policy makers, and informed citizens that celebrate and conserve the biological richness of nature as a treasure to be passed on. Their innovative education initiatives include short video productions, social media, live events, literature and art. Among their projects is E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth, a pioneering digital biology textbook for high school students. By utilizing the power of interactivity and animation, this iBook is set to revolutionize the way that students learn and retain information about the living world. While covering the full range of biology topics, Life on Earth also documents the ecological restoration of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique and uses this “living experiment” to foster a better understanding of the diversity and fragility of all of life on Earth, and why it must be conserved.
The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation was established in 2005 to honor Dr. Edward O. Wilson for his lifetime of pioneering scientific work in biology, for his ability to convene and find common ground among scientists and conservation communities, and for his eloquent, award-winning writing on the subject of biodiversity.
Founders Jay M. Short, Neil Patterson, and Charles J. Smith, with help from other supporting friends and colleagues, established the Foundation in 2005 to advance biodiversity conservation based on the three pillars of inspirational education, emerging technology and sound business strategies.
The Foundation celebrated its inauguration with a two-day BioBlitz in New York City’s Central Park on June 22–23, 2006, in collaboration with the Explorer’s Club, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Boston Museum of Natural Science. The Foundation has since supported numerous BioBlitzes, including Microbial BioBlitzes. Several hundred novel species have been identified during these hands-on activities.
In 2008, the film Darwin’s Natural Heir was released detailing E.O. Wilson’s extraordinary life and unparalleled work. Narrated by Harrison Ford, the film has aired on NOVA, the BBC, and in many museums worldwide. The Foundation’s Board Chairman David J. Prend and Board of Directors Member Gregory C. Carr have subsequently provided indispensable leadership in shaping and advancing the Foundation’s mission and goals.See more