News and Notes

E.O. Wilson and Sir David Attenborough to Discuss How to Save the Natural World

E.O. Wilson and Sir David Attenborough will discuss How to Save the Natural World on Half-Earth Day 2021, presented by CBRE. Sir David Attenborough, well known for creating Life, a nine-part documentary on animals and plant life on Earth, and Wilson, generally recognized as one of the leading scientists in the world, will come together to share their ideas and insights on the environmental crises with a special focus on global biodiversity loss. The conversation will be moderated by explorer and visionary Sir Tim Smit and is hosted in partnership with the Eden Project. 

It is estimated that about 25% of species worldwide–as many as a million species overall–are in danger of extinction. That is tens to hundreds of times greater than it has been over the past ten million years. How we can reverse the extinction threat to save the natural world is one of the primary questions Wilson and Attenborough will explore. Their conversation comes at an auspicious time: right before the United Nations annual Climate Change Conference (COP-26) in Glasgow. It is a moment to learn from these legendary thinkers and galvanize our efforts for the future of the planet.

As the closing keynote of Half-Earth Day, the discussion will be broadcast live to participants across the globe at the Royal Geographical Society in London on October 22 from 2 -3:30 pm EDT (7 – 8:30 pm BST). Half-Earth Day is free and open to the public but registration is required. Find out more:

Additionally, we would like to thank Mishcon de Reya, the National Geographic Society, the National Audubon Society, and the Garrison Insititute. This keynote is supported by the James M. and Catherine D. Stone Foundation Distinguished Lecture in Biodiversity.



Edward O. Wilson is an esteemed biologist, naturalist, and author. He currently is the Honorary Curator in Entomology and University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Chairman of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation Board of Advisors, and Chairman of the Half-Earth Council. He is generally recognized as one of the leading scientists in the world.  Wilson is acknowledged as the creator of two scientific disciplines (island biogeography and sociobiology), three unifying concepts for science and the humanities jointly (biophilia, biodiversity studies, and consilience), and two major advances in global biodiversity conservation (the Encyclopedia of Life and Half-Earth). 

Among more than one hundred awards he has received worldwide are the U.S. National Medal of Science, the Crafoord Prize (equivalent of the Nobel, for ecology) of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the International Prize of Biology of Japan; and in letters, two Pulitzer Prizes in non-fiction, the Nonino and Serono Prizes of Italy and COSMOS Prize of Japan. For his work in conservation, he has received the Gold Medal of the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the Audubon Medal of the Audubon Society. The authorized biography of E.O. Wilson, “SCIENTIST, Edward O. Wilson: A Life in Nature” by Richard Rhodes, is forthcoming in October 2021 by Doubleday.

Sir David Attenborough is a broadcaster, natural historian, and filmmaker. He is a former senior manager at the BBC.  His credits also include the Planet Earth franchise and The Blue Planet. He has advocated for restoring planetary biodiversity, limiting population growth, renewable energy, reducing meat consumption, and setting aside more areas for natural preservation. Currently, he sits on the council for The Earthshot Prize,  a new global prize for the environment, designed to incentivize change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years.

Sir Tim Smit is an explorer and visionary. He is the co-founder of The Eden Project, with the mission to create a movement that builds relationships between people and the natural world to demonstrate the power of working together for the benefit of all living things. He ‘discovered’ and then restored The Lost Gardens of Heligan with John Nelson, which was named Garden of the Year by BBC Countryfile Awards (2018). Sir Tim Smit’s book The Lost Gardens of Heligan won Book of the Year in 1997. He is also Executive Vice-Chair and Co-founder of the multi-award-winning Eden Project in Cornwall. Since its opening in 2001, over 22 million people have come to see a once sterile pit, turned into a cradle of life. 

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