Books That Inspire 2009

Sociobiology: The New Synthesis
Edward O. Wilson

Most books that turned out to be real influential and intellectual milestones were initially controversial. That was certainly true when E. O. Wilson’s tome Sociobiology was published in 1975. The book proposed a new view of Animal Behavior based on ideas that had led to a paradigm shift in the 1960s and 1970s. I liked this book immediately because it is thought provoking and stimulating. Wilson tries to explain the evolution of social behavior in animals and extends those lines of argument to humans. The book and its impact are a prime example of science writing and a glimpse at the history of science.

Ingo B. Schlupp
Associate Professor
Department of Zoology