Dr. David Suzuki joined the CBC in 1971 with the TV series, “Suzuki on Science.” In 1974, he developed and hosted the long-running popular radio program “Quirks and Quarks,” and several more TV specials followed. In 1979, he began hosting the ‘Nature of Things’, already in its 20th season.
Studying zoology and genetics in the United States, Suzuki returned to Canada in the early 1960’s, at a time when science was booming, and the space race was on.
‘Americans revel in money, and I didn’t like that. One of my heroes was Tommy Douglas. In the States, he would’ve been branded an outright commie, but the CCF at that time, now the NDP - was a legitimate party, I loved that we had Medicare, we had equalization payments’, says Suzuki.
‘I said, I have go to get out of this country. You know, I’ve never regretted that choice. Canada is different. I’m not saying we’re better than the US, it’s different. I prefer the differences in Canada’.
Suzuki tells ‘Today in B.C.’ host Peter McCully that there have been some issues that the “Nature of Things’ has focused on over the years that he feels have made a difference.
‘Shows that had an immediate effect, like the program we did on the Amazon, back in 1989, a two-hour special on a great dam being planned known as the Great Whale Project. I believe that our program stopped that dam from being built’.
A particularly personal and emotional program for Suzuki, dealt with Alzheimer’s.
‘My mother had Alzheimer’s and her three brothers and, and her sister all died of dementia. I offered to talk about how it affected me personally, and I think the personal involvement had a real impact on the program itself’.
Suzuki the author and co-author of over 50 books, says he will take on the role of an elder after retirement from the program.
‘I can just tell the truth and I can tell the truth on behalf of the one group that is least empowered in our society, and that’s our children. If our children aren’t at center stage in our conversation then what the hell are we doing all this, or not doing all this for?’
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