Harrison Ford is an Academy Award- and BAFTA-nominated, as well as Golden Globe-winning, American actor. During his Hollywood career of four decades, Ford has become best known for his performances in the Indiana Jones film series, the original Star Wars trilogy, and Blade Runner. In 1997, Ford was ranked # 1 in Empire's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
Publicly political, Ford spoke out against the Iraq War in 2003 and has criticized Hollywood's production of violent films. As an environmental advocate, he shaved a portion of his chest hair to show the effects of deforestation in 2008. Ford sits on the board of directors of Conservation International. He was awarded the Jules Verne Spirit of Nature Award for his ongoing work in preservation of the planet. In 1993, the arachnologist Norman Platnick named a new species of spider Calponia harrisonfordi, and in 2002, the entomologist Edward O. Wilson named a new ant species Pheidole harrisonfordi (in recognition of Harrison's work as Vice Chairman of Conservation International).
Question: How did you become involved with the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation?
Harrison Ford: I became involved with conservation work and thought that Dr. Wilson's Biodiversity Foundation, which I am on the board of because it was clear to me that mankind, human activity, was degrading our Earth's resources at an alarmingly rapid rate and that we were losing species right and left, important species perhaps. In some cases, we knew, and in other cases, we had not yet full knowledge of a species or an organism before it was lost.
It is my understanding that much of our medicine, much of our food stuff that may be required in the future will come from these reserves of biodiversity, which are rapidly disappearing. And unless we have fully protected biosystems, we will lose the potential to learn how nature works in some very specific cases. And that information may be critical in our understanding of how to manipulate what is in our power to manipulate to save biodiversity, save the power of our planet to sustain life.
Recorded on: June 19 , 2008