This year's Reith lecturer is English ecologist, conservationist and author Sir Frank Fraser Darling. He is the current Vice-President of the Conservation Foundation in Washington, DC and his ornithological ideas have marked him as a specialist on the topic of the natural environment. He also worked as a Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Conservation at the University of Edinburgh (1953-58) and was Chief Officer at the Imperial Bureau of Animal Genetics (1930–34). He is strongly associated with the highlands of Scotland, an area which he has often studied and written about.
Frank Fraser Darling explores the concept of Man's responsibility for his natural environment in his Reith series entitled 'Wilderness and Plenty'. In his first lecture entitled 'Man and Nature', he considers how humans have dominated the natural world by constantly challenging it and altering it to their advantage. However, bringing together economics and ecology, he discusses what circumstances might lead to the need to conserve the human race.