For E.O. Wilson, a Lifetime of Science Feeds Into Fiction

For E.O. Wilson, a Lifetime of Science Feeds Into Fiction 1

AP Photo, Steven Senne

E. O. Wilson

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AP Photo, Steven Senne

E. O. Wilson

Throughout his fabled and often controversial career, the biologist and naturalist E.O. Wilson has harbored a secret ambition.

While publishing some two dozen books about the diversity and intricacies of life forms, the social lives of animals (particularly ants), and the urgency of preserving the ecosystem, the Harvard University emeritus research professor imagined writing fiction.

"I always thought I had a good novel in me," he says by telephone from his Boston-area home.