Biophilia is a term popularized by Harvard University myrmecologist and conservationist E.O. Wilson to describe the extent to which humans are hard-wired to need connection with nature and other forms of life.
Peter H. Kahn, Jr
"What is biophilia? And why is it important for developmental psychologists to understand and study it? The short answer is this. The biophilia hypothesis asserts the existence of a fundamental, genetically based, human need and propensity to affiliate with life and lifelike processes. Consider, for example, that recent studies have shown that even minimal connection with nature—such as looking at it through a window—increases productivity and health in the workplace, promotes healing of patients in hospitals, and reduces the frequency of sickness in prisons. Other studies have begun to show that when given the option, humans choose landscapes such as prominences near water from which parkland can be viewed that fit patterns laid down deep in human history on Wilson (1992) points out that people crowd national parks to experience natural landscapes, and ‘‘travel long distances to stroll along the seashore, for reasons they can’t put into words’’ (p. 350). According to Wilson (1984), the biophilic instinct emerges, often unconsciously, in our cognition, emotions, art, and ethics."