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TU Science Café to feature ‘The Secret Life of Ants’

The next installment in Thomas University’s popular Science Café series will feature Walter Tschinkel presenting “The Secret Life of Ants” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30.

A biology professor at Florida State University, Tschinkel’s 2006 book “The Fire Ants” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Its scientific chapters are interspersed with interludes about the interplay between humans and ants along with comparisons of ants and humans.

Tschinkel will use a similar format during the Science Café while sharing about the nature of ants, such as why the “live and let live” rule makes sense and why an ant colony is often treated as one large organism rather than individuals.

“It’s fairly obvious that the ant colony is a self-organized entity — that is, there is no leader, there is no hierarchy,” Tschinkel explained. “The ants are behaving according to a set of rules embodied in each individual, and actually human society has a lot of self-organized features, too. In most human organizations, the expertise isn’t at the level of the directors or bosses; it’s actually at the worker lever, just like it is in an ant colony, so a lot of the products of human teams or groups are also self-organized.”

Each Science Café begins with a reception with the speaker in the lobby of Smith-Bonvillian Hall on TU’s Forbes Campus at 6 p.m. followed by the presentation at 6:30 p.m. in the Flowers Foods Executive Classroom. There is no admission charge, and the public is welcome.

For more information, contact April D. Penton at

Education that Engages... Empowers... TRANSFORMS

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