The Details

Writers on a New England Stage @ The Historic Theater

E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson

“Compelling…gives us new reason to celebrate the wonder that is us.” — Bill McKibben, author of Enough

How did humanity originate and why does a species like ours exist on this planet? Do we have a special place, even a destiny in the universe? Where are we going, and perhaps, the most difficult question of all, “Why?”

Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to engage with one of the greatest thinkers of our time - the Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard Professor emeritus comes to Portsmouth with his new landmark work on the human species and its future in this increasingly analytical world, driven by science and technology. Recognized for his daring intellect and remarkable scholarship, Wilson looks at how and why we are headed for some of our greatest moral dilemmas. 

In fifteen tightly interlinked essays broken into five parts (the meaning of meaning, science and the humanities, other life forms, the developed mind, and our collective future), Wilson spans the history of mankind, from its earliest inception to our debated end. Inspired by Nietzsche’s Human, All Too Human, Wilson looks for meaning in the so-called “rainbow colors” around the outer edges of knowledge and imagination.

While elaborating further on his group selection theories first put forth in The Social Conquest of Earth, Wilson continues to chip away at the selfish gene argument made by his most notable detractors. He posits that only group selection—whether cooperative or violent—explains the unparalleled success of the human species. It also as well as helps us to define who we are: team player or whistle blower, saint or sinner.

Wilson’s book, in the end, is a call for a new Enlightenment, akin to that of the late 18th century, that would finally unite the analytical power of science with the creativity of the humanities.

Join us for remarkable evening with a leading thinker of our time, the bestselling, best-loved author (The Ants, The Social Conquest of Earth and On Human Nature) and Professor Wilson, now at the height of his power and insight.

Book: The Meaning of Existence
Purchase a voucher in advance ($24) to ensure you get a signed hardcover book on the night.

About Writers on a New England Stage:

Each literary evening features an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth”. Live music performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught. Shows are rebroadcast on NH Public Radio. Companion bookstore: RiverRun in Portsmouth

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