January 8, 2002
From one of the world’s most influential scientists (and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author) comes his most timely and important book yet: an impassioned call for quick and decisive action to save Earth’s biological heritage, and a plan to achieve that rescue.
Today we understand that our world is infinitely richer than was ever previously guessed. Yet it is so ravaged by human activity that half its species could be gone by the end of the present century. These two contrasting truths – unexpected magnificence and underestimated peril – have become compellingly clear during the past two decades of research on biological diversity.
In this dazzlingly intelligent and ultimately hopeful book, Wilson describes what treasures of the natural world we are about to lose forever – in many cases animals, insects, and plants we have only just discovered, and whose potential to nourish us, protect us, and cure illnesses is immeasurable – and what we can do to save them. In the process, he explores the ethical and religious species of the conservation movement and deflates the myth that environmental policy is antithetical to economic growth by illustrating how new methods of conservation can ensure long-term economic well-being.
The Future of Life is a magisterial accomplishment: both a moving description of our biosphere and a guidebook for the protection of all it species, including humankind.
Edward O. Wilson is the author of two Pulitzer Prize-winning books, On Human Nature (1978) and The Ants (1990, with Bert Holldobler), as well as many other groundbreaking works, including Consilience, Naturalist, and Sociobiology. The recipient of many of the world’s leading prizes in science and conservation, he is currently Pellegrino University Research Professor and Honorary Curator in Entomology of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, with his wife, Renee.