As his radical ecology experiment meets with criticism, even ridicule, he shows more interest in mainstream science
Texas billionaire Edward Bass, best known for his bankrolling of Biosphere 2, now appears to be focusing his largess a bit closer to the scientific mainstream. The Biosphere 2 project, an experiment set up near Tucson, Ariz., attempting to establish a sealed, self-sustaining, three-acre module with eight humans inside, has taken a beating from the press and scientists over its lack of scientific credibility, not to mention allegations that the project is essentially the work of a survivalist cult.

Edward Bass is 46 years old and--as heir to a fortune that originated with his great-uncle Sid Richardson, a Texas oil wildcatter--is one of the wealthiest men in the United States. But although many of his siblings' interests run more toward luxury and high-stakes business ventures, he prefers a down-to- earth lifestyle. He drives...

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