Zuckerman Archive: United Nations Scientific Conference on the Conservation and Utilization of

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The contents consist of a small file of correspondence; copies of some of the papers presented; and background documents and publications. The latter include the conference programme; lists of delegates; a catalogue of films on conservation and utilization of resources; brochures produced by the Meals for Millions Foundation; an article by Lord Boyd Orr, Was Malthus Right?, Picture Post, 11 June 1949; and material relating to US soil and water conservation and hydro-electric power generation programmes.

A copy of the Proceedings is held in that part of Lord Zuckerman's personal library bequeathed to UEA and now joined with his Archive. Series SZ/UNESCO is complementary to this series.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Conference was the outcome of a proposal made by President Harry S. Truman through the US representative on the United Nations Economic and Social Council in September 1946. President Truman envisaged an exchange of thought and experience among experts who would not necessarily represent the views of the government of their nations, but would be selected to cover topics within their competence on the basis of their individual experience and studiesProceedings of the United Nations Scientific Conference on the Conservation and Utilization of Resources, vol. 1, New York, United Nations, 1950, page vii]. The need for such an exchange, President Truman wrote, was never greater. Warfare has taken a heavy toll of many natural resources; the rebuilding of the nations and the industrialization of under-developed areas will require an additional large depletion of them ... Conservation can become a major basis for peace. Modern science has itself become a major international resource which facilitates the use of other resources. Their adequate utilization can become a major basis of world prosperity. In subsequent consultations on the agenda for the Conference discussion of atomic energy was excluded as being the province of the Atomic Energy Commission; Certain items relating to irrigation problems should be added, it was suggested, in its place. The conference programme also touched on nature conservation, and sessions were scheduled so as to enable delegates to UNSCCUR and to the concurrent UNESCO/IUPN Conference on the Conservation of Nature to attend both conferences.

Solly Zuckerman was Deputy Chairman of the UK delegation to the Conference, which was led by Sir Harold Hartley, and presided over one plenary session, on 24 August 1949.


  • SZ/UNSCCUR/1 Correspondence, 1949-1952
  • SZ/UNSCCUR/2 General Papers etc., 1949-1951
  • SZ/UNSCCUR/3 Plenary Sessions Papers, 1949
  • SZ/UNSCCUR/4 Forests, 1949
  • SZ/UNSCCUR/5 Fertilizers, 1949
  • SZ/UNSCCUR/6 Fuels and Energy, 1949
  • SZ/UNSCCUR/7 Land Resources, 1949
  • SZ/UNSCCUR/8 Mineral Resources, 1949
  • SZ/UNSCCUR/9 Wildlife, Fish and Marine Resources, 1949
  • SZ/UNSCCUR/10 Proceedings, 1950-52

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.



Other Finding Aids

MS and typescript lists of the contents of this series are available for consultation in the Archives Department.

Conditions Governing Use

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.