Berkeley Talks: Biologist E.O. Wilson on how to save the natural world


Read the transcript.

Subscribe to Berkeley Talks, Berkeley News podcast that features lectures and conversations at UC Berkeley.

E.O. Wilson signs a book while a fan smiles next to him

E.O. Wilson signs a book during Half-Earth Day at UC Berkeley. (Photo by Anastasiia Sapon)

Sally Jewell and E.O. Wilson in conversation on stage

Sally Jewell and E.O. Wilson (Photo by Anastasiia Sapon)

In this talk, renowned biologist and naturalist E.O. Wilson joins former U.S. secretary of the interior and interim CEO of the Nature Conservancy Sally Jewell for a discussion about the core science and common humanity that is driving the success of Wilson’s Half-Earth Project — “a call to protect half the land and sea in order to manage sufficient habitat to reverse the species extinction crisis and ensure the longterm health of our planet.” It’s made up of a team of thought leaders from a wide range of fields who are gathering expertise from around the world to achieve this goal.

“We need to build a science,” says Wilson. “Our ecosystems … are really what we try to protect — not just single species, but ensembles of species that have come together and have reached stability, sometimes over thousands, or in some places, millions of years … We need an ecosystems science. And there is going to be one created. It should be, has to be, in the immediate future. So, since I’m in a preacher’s mood, I will say to you: If you want to go into science, please consider going into the coming development of a new biological science.”

Jerry Brown, E.O. Wilson and Sally Jewell

Former governor of California, Jerry Brown, with E.O. Wilson and Sally Jewell. Brown also spoke at the event. (Photo by Anastasiia Sapon)

E.O. Wilson spoke on Oct. 7, 2019, as part of the College of Natural Resources’ Horace M. Albright Lecture in Conservation. It took place during the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s Half-Earth Day, an annual event that explores how conservationists can make progress toward protecting half the earth for the rest of life. Half-Earth Day was held at UC Berkeley this year, and featured lectures, panels and workshops on education and citizen science, science and technology, conservation and community, and business and sustainability.

This talk was recorded by Educational Technology Services. Watch the video below.

Watch the Horace M. Alright Lecture with renowned naturalist E.O. Wilson. (Video by ETS)