In ‘Half Earth,’ E.O. Wilson Calls for a Grand Retreat

This week, the biologist Edward O. Wilson, professor emeritus at Harvard University and recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, will publish his 32nd book, a personal exhortation to conserve biodiversity titled “Half Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life.”

The book offers an improbable prescription for the environment: Dr. Wilson suggests that humans set aside roughly 50 percent of the planet as a sort of permanent preserve, undisturbed by man.

We spoke for three hours in the cafeteria of the assisted-living facility in Lexington, Mass., where Dr.

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