UPDATE: E.O. Wilson speech cancelled after medical emergency

A Tuesday presentation featuring famed naturalist Dr. Edward O. Wilson and author Tony Hiss has been cancelled.

"Dr. Wilson has incurred a medical urgency this morning that prevents him from presenting at the scheduled event," said Christy Scally, of the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center.  "Dr. Wilson is hospitalized, doing well and expected to make a full recovery."

The pair was set to speak April 2 at Freeport High School and organizers were expecting hundreds to attend.

 "We are sorry for any inconvenience," Scally said. "And our prayers for a full recovery are with Dr. Wilson and his family."

The original story

The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center will host authors Dr. E.O. Wilson and Tony Hiss from 5-6:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, at Freeport High School. This event will be free to the public, and seating is limited.

Dr. E.O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology at Harvard University and has written more than a score of books including “On Human Nature,” “The Ants,” “The Naturalist” and “Diversity of Life.” 

This two-time Pulitzer Prize winner spent his formative years and performed his earliest scientific investigations in Northwest Florida and Southwest Alabama, and developed the term “biophilia” — the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life.

At age 13, Dr. Wilson discovered the first colony of the invasive fire ant from South America, and he has been a renowned authority on ants ever since. While studying these seemingly minuscule species, Dr. Wilson unearthed worlds of information about biodiversity of life and social biology.

“Anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Wilson speak has walked away mesmerized by his wealth of knowledge,” said Biophilia Center Director Christy Scally.

Author Tony Hiss, most well known for “Experience of Place,” has written several books focusing on the profound effect areas have on one’s experience. He demonstrates how our society can continue to grow without destroying the places that have nourished it for generations. Hiss includes insights of planners, ecologists, psychologists and environmentalists. His works have contributed to transportation and environmental initiatives as well as revitalization projects. In 1963, Hiss became a staff writer for The New Yorker.

The presentations by Dr. E.O. Wilson and Tony Hiss are well aligned with the mission of the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center, which is to educate students and visitors on the importance of biodiversity, to promote sustainability, and to encourage conservation, preservation and restoration.

“All are invited,” Scally said. “Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to hear these two dynamic speakers.” 

The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center is an environmental education facility in Freeport that serves students, teachers and professional audiences. The center is nestled in the Longleaf Pine ecosystem, which is considered the 6th most biodiverse area in the continental U.S. and less than 2 percent of it remains intact today. 

Please visit www.eowilsoncenter.org to learn more about this non-profit educational center.