On January 17, 2014, the organization Celebration! Benjamin Franklin, Founder presented the Franklin Founders Award to Dr. Edward O. Wilson in recognition of his lifetime of work in the natural sciences, and his insights into the genetic basis of the social behavior of animals, including humans.
Celebration! Benjamin Franklin, Founder is a collaborative organization of representatives of Franklin related organizations that each year plan a celebration in Philadelphia of Franklin’s birthday with seminars, a procession to his grave, and a luncheon. The intent, initiated by a number of University of Pennsylvania alumni in 1998, is to bring national attention to Franklin’s ideas, ideals, and accomplishments which remain relevant today. That initial idea has led to annual celebrations, each built around a separate theme related to a different facet of Franklin’s interests. While Franklin’s involvement in a particular field is explored, the focus also is on contemporary research and development within that field. Each year, the Franklin Founder bowl is awarded to an individual who has made significant contributions to that field.
The 2014 celebration honoring E.O. Wilson included a free morning seminar on the topic of “Observing the World,” featuring:
• Robert McCracken Peck, Senior Fellow, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
• Dr. Douglas W. Tallamy, Chair of the Dept. of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware
Previous recipients of the Franklin Founders Award include Gov. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. (2013, “American Diplomacy”); Dr. Steven Chu (2012, “Franklin and Energy: Resources, Uses and Efficiencies); and Hon. Edward G. Rendell (2011; “Pennsylvania Politics: Franklin to Rendell”).