Smartphone-packing high-school students are bombarded by electronic distractions daily, so they need to be entertained and to feel empowered while being introduced to a topic in science. There is no greater entertainment and no greater power than the natural world. Join us online Thursday, December 13 from 1 to 2pm (EST) for “E.O. Wilson’s Global Town Hall,” with celebrated biologist Edward Osborne Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will be hosting and streaming Wilson’s presentation, in which he plans to show that the exploration of biodiversity is now cutting-edge science, and to explain why this subject is destined to be increasingly supported due to its importance in medicine and environment. Wilson will also emphasize the hands-on approach to science and its unique opportunities for physical adventure.
We invite you, your students and colleagues to view this presentation live (or at any time after the live event) online at www.livestream.com/naturalsciences . If you are joining us live, please register for free at EOWilsonNRC.eventbrite.com . Following an approximately 30- to 45-minute presentation, Wilson will field questions from audience members in the Museum’s Daily Planet Theater as well as via Twitter at #EOWilson. Students and teachers can also submit questions in advance of the event at email@example.com  . You can visit the event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/432573543465663/ .
Following Wilson’s presentation, on-site visitors are invited to a brief ceremony celebrating the opening of the first permanent museum exhibit highlighting E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth, a digital biology textbook for high-school students being developed by the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation along with co-authors Wilson, Morgan Ryan and Gael McGill, all of whom will be present. Located in the Museum’s new Nature Research Center, this exhibit will provide multiple iPads for students and other visitors to explore the iBook, which is available only on the iPad. Life on Earth introduces students to biology in a dynamic new way, and includes 10 chapters on ecology and physiological systems with rich interactive animations, 3D images, photo galleries, chapter reviews and more. Once purchased, you can update the book for free as additional chapters are completed.
During Wilson’s long career, he has transformed his field of research — the behavior of ants — and applied his scientific perspective and experience to illuminate the human circumstance, including human origins, human nature and human interactions. Wilson pioneered efforts to preserve and protect the biodiversity of this planet, mobilizing the movement to protect the world’s “hot spots,” the realms of highest biodiversity on Earth. And in his newest book, “Letters to a Young Scientist,” Wilson gives advice based on a lifetime of experience, and reminds us that wonder and creativity are the center of the scientific life. The more than 100 awards received by Wilson from around the world in science and letters include the National Medal of Science and two Pulitzer Prizes for Non-fiction (for “On Human Nature” and “The Ants”). In 1995 he was named one of the 25 most influential Americans by Time magazine, and in 2000 one of the century’s 100 leading environmentalists by both Time and Audubon magazine.
This presentation is made possible through a partnership with the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation [www.eowilsonfoundation.org ], whose mission is to promote worldwide understanding of the importance of biodiversity and of the preservation of our biological heritage. Among the Foundation’s projects is the development of educational materials in life science for high-school and undergraduate students and the general public that will improve global understanding of the nature and diversity of all life on Earth and why it must be conserved. The Foundation’s work is shaped by the inspiration and guidance of E.O. Wilson, scientist, teacher and writer. They welcome collaboration with those who share his vision and sense of urgency about humanity’s role in shaping its environment and its future.
This project is made possible in part by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Photo copyright Piotr Naskrecki 2012