A Visit From a Science Rock Star

April 10, 2015 8:44 PM

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As thousands of festival-goers flock to Coachella over the next two weekends, rock stars are on many minds across the country. But here in San Francisco, I've been reflecting on a different kind of groupie-worthy icon -- the one and only E. O. Wilson, champion of conservation, father of sociobiology and distinguished lover of all things six-legged. Unlike sports or Hollywood, the profession of science does not have many rock stars, but Ed Wilson is one of the few notables in the geek world of science who undoubtedly deserve that label.

A few weeks ago, I invited Ed to come visit us here at the California Academy of Sciences, and our halls had a palpable buzz in anticipation of his arrival. Exactly what creates charisma and stardom? And how does a modest myrmecologist (translation: scientist who studies ants) become a global voice ...

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