In the 1960s-'70s, Attenborough moved into senior management positions at BBC, presiding over the introduction of color television in the UK, giving the go-ahead to air Monty Python's Flying Circus, and helping bring many historical, cultural and scientific documentaries to television.
Among numerous honors over the years, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society---the UK's national academy of science---in 1983 and received a knighthood in 1985. He is a founding member of the World Wildlife Fund and a patron of the World Land Trust, which purchases rain forest and other lands to preserve them and their animal inhabitants.
Born May 8, 1926, in London, Attenborough received a degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University in 1947, then served for two years in the Royal Navy. In 2002, he published an autobiography, Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster. His career in broadcasting was celebrated with the accompanying BBC program, Life on Air: David Attenborough's 50 Years in Television.
The Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest is named for William Nierenberg (1919-2000), a renowned national science leader who served Scripps Institution as director from 1965 to 1986. The recipient of numerous awards and honors for professional research and public service, Nierenberg was a leading expert in several fields of underwater research and warfare, and was known for his work in low-energy nuclear physics.
Past winners of the Nierenberg Prize are naturalist E. O. Wilson (2001), newsman Walter Cronkite (2002), marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco (2003) and primatologist Dame Jane Goodall (2004).