As I read the announcement and noted with admirationnthose receiving The Ingersoll Prizes, I can say in allnhumility that it never entered my head during the pastnseveral years that I might someday be so honored, and fornthat I thank you. I thank you also for the opportunity tonmake the following brief remarks to an important audiencenon subjects close to my heart.nPart of the reason for my surprise at being here comesnfrom the continuing division between the two cultures ofnscience and the humanities. We are accustomed to think ofnscientists in general as experts in narrow domains of physicalnphenomena who mind their own business when it comes tonpolity and ethics. Since the 18th century they have becomensteadily more blinkered in this respect. Little wonder—nscientific knowledge doubles every ten to fifteen years, sonthat journals have grown from a single one in 1665 {ThenPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London)nto over 100,000 today. For their part the intellectuals, thenmen and women of letters who speak easily of polity andnethics, think of scientists — with some justification — as notncompetent by reason of training to serve as public philosophers.nAnd they themselves rarely speak of science.nI was awakened to the dangers of this thematic fault linenfourteen years ago when I published Sociobiology: The NewnSynthesis, which spelled out the biological foundations ofnsocial life in animals and went on to suggest that humannEdward O. Wilson is Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor ofnScience and Curator in Entomology at Harvard. He wasnthe recipient of The Ingersoll Foundation’s 1989 RichardnM. Weaver Award for Scholarly Letters, for which thisnwas his acceptance speech.n16/CHRONICLESnVIEWSnDeep Historynby Edward O. Wilsonnnnsocial life, and even human social institutions, have biologicalnfoundations. That part of my book touching on humannbehavior was attacked savagely by a small group of scientistsnwho identified themselves as Marxists and members of annorganization called Science for the People. Until thatnmoment I had no political agenda whatever, unless extendingnthe influence of evolutionary biology can be considerednpolitical, and I was taken unawares. But I got interested innthe subject of ideology fast, because some New Left groupsnat Harvard, the last survivors of the 60’s as it turned out,nwere demonstrating against sociobiology and holding whatnwere euphemistically called discussion sessions, the mainnpurpose of which was to discredit the dangerous new ideanand — in a few extreme cases — to have me dismissed fromnHarvard. Within several months I got offers of professorshipsnfrom four other universities, made with the off-therecordnremark that I might find things too hot at my ownninstitution and might like to move to a more congenialnenvironment.nWhat had I done back in 1975 that was so inflammatory?nHuman sociobiology, the application of the method ofnevolutionary reasoning to human social behavior, is nownwell-established. There are two technical journals specializingnin it, and it regularly gets favorable coverage in Time,nNewsweek, Discover, U.S. News & World Report, and othernbellwether publications. One international organization, thenEuropean Sociobiological Society, is flourishing, and ansecond, similar organization met for the first time atnNorthwestern University last August. That mostly Americannmeeting was attained by both social scientists and biologists,nwas technical in content, and notably devoid of ideologicalndisputes of any kind.n