Montana State University

'The new Darwin' speaks at MSU Oct. 4

October 3, 2006 -- MSU News Service

Evolutionary scientist and author Edward O. Wilson will give a free public lecture at Montana State University on Oct. 4 in conjunction with receiving the 2006 George R. Stibitz Computer and Communications Award. (Photo by Jim Harrison.)   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
Famed evolutionary scientist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson, will participate in a free public forum at Montana State University's Brick Breeden Field House on Oct. 4 at 1:30 p.m.

Wilson's lecture is part of a Bozeman visit to accept the 2006 George R. Stibitz Computer and Communications Award for his proposal to create an electronic encyclopedia of all life - from bacteria to whales -- that would contain everything known about a species in a searchable and expandable format.

Despite the power of Web search engines and current databases, no collection of biological information exists anywhere near the scale Wilson proposes.

Wilson, the Pellegrino University Research Professor Emeritus, at Harvard University, is one of the most highly respected scientists in the world today. Hailed as "the new Darwin" by Thomas Wolfe, and one of "America's 25 Most Influential People" by TIME Magazine, he has twice received the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction.

Wilson, 77, has recently published "The Creation: A Meeting of Science and Religion." Publishers Weekly said: "With his usual eloquence, patience and humor, Wilson, our modern-day Thoreau, adds his thoughts to the ongoing conversation between science and religion. Couched in the form of letters to a Southern Baptist pastor, the Pulitzer Prize-winning entomologist pleads for the salvation of biodiversity, arguing that both secular humanists like himself and believers in God acknowledge the glory of nature and can work together to save it."

Wilson will sign copies of his books from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m on Oct. 4 at the Country Bookshelf,
28 W. Main Street.

This year's Stibitz award is co-hosted by the American Computer Museum, MSU's Computer Science Department, the College of Engineering, the College of Letters and Science and the Humanities Institute.

In 1997, the American Computer Museum in Bozeman launched an award ceremony to honor the living pioneers of the computer, communications and the information age in general. The award is named in honor of Dr. George R. Stibitz who pioneered the use of relays for digital computation at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey in 1937. Past awardees have included Steve Wozniak, inventor of the Apple I & Apple II Computers and co-founder of Apple Computer Inc.; and Ross Perot, former presidential candidate and pioneer in the data processing industry and founder of Electronic Data Systems (EDS).

E.O. Wilson's Bozeman agenda:

Public Forum

A public forum featuring Wilson will be held at MSU's Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on Oct. 4 at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free. Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Book Signing

Country Bookshelf, 28 W. Main Street in downtown Bozeman, (phone: 406-587-0166) will host a book signing with Wilson on Oct. 4 from 3 to 4 p.m.

Formal Dinner

The formal awards dinner will be held at the Gran Tree Inn on Oct. 4 in Bozeman. Tickets are $75 per person. Seating is limited.

For details about corporate sponsorship or to purchase an individual ticket for the awards dinner, contact Jeannette Radcliffe in MSU's Computer Science Department at (406) 994-4780 or visit the American Computer Museum's website at

George Keremedjiev at (406) 582-1288 or; also see