Tuesday, November 09, 2004

David Suzuki = The Greatest Canadian?

David Suzuki was born March 24, 1936 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He's a third-generation Japanese Canadian and growing up his family went on weekly fishing and camping trips. These were to be the events that would shape the rest of his life.

Of course, in 1942, during World War II, he and his family were sent to the Interior. They were placed in an internment camp in Slocan, because the government had some racist and paranoid notion that these Canadian citizens were a threat to their own country. This was done to supposedly "safe guard the coast from Japanese spies" *rolls eyes*.

Suzuki spent four years in the camp and after the war he and his family moved to Leamington, Ontario. In 1958 he graduated with a B.A. in Biology and got his Ph.D in Zoology at the University of Chicago. Apparently he turned down a lot of US offers to stay and work in Canada. Instead he chose to work at the University of Alberta for a year and then went to the University of British Columbia in 1963.

He did all sorts of experiments with fruit flies which I won't get into. Things really started to take off in 1974-79 when he hosted the CBC radio show Quirks and Quarks (a show that is still on today). In 1979 he became the host of the well-known show The Nature of Things a science television series. By 1984, his show was the "CBC's most-watched program generating more foreign sales for the network than any other CBC production."

He's written 18 books, received many honours and is all for preserving the environment. I've heard people say that he's 'just a granola-eating British Columbian' but they've also said that 'with his thirty years of award-winning work he is an internationally respected geneticist.'

Quote: "The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected. That is our home." - David Suzuki

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