Harrison Ford has teamed up with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and acclaimed naturalist E.O. Wilson to help fund a new $10,000 annual award recognizing an author that best increases the public’s understanding of science and how it is approached.
The “PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing” was formally announced last week and will recognize non-fiction writing on a scale similar to that of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”.
In an interview with Wired, Ford commented on the lack of real science in books. “I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that the facts of science are often unpalatably presented to the general public and, because of my acquaintanceship with Dr. Wilson and having read a few of his books, I have seen what quality communication can do to make science important on a humanistic level.”
The actor also mentioned that for anything to change, people need to actually care.
“The struggle is the preservation of biodiversity. That is, intact biological organizations that continue to generate and sustain complicated interrelationships between species. That’s the very fabric of life on Earth. That needs to be sustained, encouraged in every possible way,” he said. “The mission is to get people to give a damn. At the highest level, to get our political leadership to make the effort that’s required to safeguard nature. The United States government needs to sign a convention on biodiversity. We need to better compel our public leadership and tell them that we will not stand for them failing to address the issues and continually put it off, and put it off, and put it off.”