Edward Osborne Wilson is an American biologist (Myrmecology, a branch of entomology), researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity), theorist (consilience, biophilia), and naturalist (conservationism). Wilson is known for his career as a scientist, his advocacy for environmentalism, and his secular humanist ideas concerned with religious and ethical matters.
A Harvard professor for four decades, he has written twenty books, won two Pulitzer prizes, and discovered hundreds of new species. Considered to be one of the world's greatest living scientists, Dr. Wilson is often called "the father of biodiversity," (a word that he coined). He is the Pellegrino University Research Professor, Emeritus in Entomology for the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is a Humanist Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism.
Question: How has Harrison Ford's work affected your thinking about conservation?
E.O. Wilson: I think it is fair to say that Harrison Ford is a pioneer in his own work on Conservation International. In spite of an extraordinary career so well known that nothing more need be said about it here, he has found time, a lot of time, going back for years, to engage in the planning and the carrying out of important conservation projects around the world, particularly in tropical areas where most of the species of organisms live and where the most are threatened with extinction. As a board member of Conservation International, for example, where i served for a period of time, he was one of the most effective members. So I am not sure that I have really had an influence on Harrison Ford. I have just been very proud to be working with him.
Recorded on: 6/19/08