(New York, NY) — PEN America reacted to the passing of pioneering biologist and writer E. O. Wilson.

“As a scientist, E.O. Wilson inspired generations with his curiosity, rigorous research, and passion for discovery,” said Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, senior director of Literary Programs at PEN America. “As a writer, he made complex concepts not just accessible but alive to a general audience. His books were influential in science and in the wider world, receiving two Pulitzer Prizes and topping The New York Times bestseller list. Dr. Wilson’s work will continue to resonate with readers and we could not be more proud to celebrate this tremendous legacy with the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, which since 2011 has recognized the writers who follow in his footsteps, with the support of Jim and Cathy Stone and the E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. In recent years, PEN America has awarded the prize to writers including Siddhartha Mukherjee, Lindsey Fitzharris, and Jonathan C. Slaght.”