Every so often a giant emerges on the stage of science – someone who transcends the narrow boundaries of a particular line of research - and alters our perspective of the world. E.O. Wilson is such a man.
Lord of the Ants follows in the footsteps of one of the great intellectual adventurers of our time. While studying ants, Wilson struggled to comprehend the evolutionary forces that have led workers to forage and soldiers to fight – and became the architect of a new discipline: sociobiology.
This synthesis of the origins of complex social behaviour linking ants to humans ultimately led him into controversy. Not since Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species has a set of ideas caused so much outrage; but even Darwin did not have a pitcher of water poured over him, or face angry demonstrators outside his lab.
Yet from that controversy has emerged an icon of our times: the ant man who explained creation… and who now fights for its survival. He visits bio-diversity Hot Spots, where the destruction of unique habitats has left many species on the endangered list. He has often dreamed of a vast Encyclopedia of Life that might record every known species. Now that dream has become a reality with the launch of an ambitious new on-line data-base that identifies and catalogues every living organism on the planet.
Wilson has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his writing and is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers alive today. This documentary, narrated by Harrison Ford, provides a unique insight into his life and ideas.