Kalinga Prize laureate

1986

Canada
David Takayoshi Suzuki

For his extraordinary broadcasting and television career that has greatly contributed the popularization of science and has engaged the general public to better understand their natural surroundings

David Suzuki is a Canadian geneticist who has attained prominence as a science broadcaster and an environmental activist. He received his BA from Amherst College in Massachusetts and his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Chicago (USA). In his early research career he studied genetics, using the popular model organism Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies). He gained several international awards for his research into these mutations. From 1969 to 2001, he has been a Professor in the Genetics Department at the University of British Columbia (UBC) (Canada). He is now Professor Emeritus at UBC. Professor Suzuki has received over 20 honorary degrees from universities in Canada, the United States and Australia. He is the recipient of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Medal, UNEPs Global 500, and in 2009 he won the Right Livelihood Award that is considered the Alternative Nobel Prize.

Professor Suzuki began his television career in the 1970s hosting a children’s programme Suzuki on Science along with the adult science television programme Science Magazine. However Suzuki is most widely known for hosting The Nature of Things. Since 1979 the programme has been aired in nearly 50 countries. The programme aims to inform the general public and stimulate interest in the natural world around us and its conservation. He has also been involved in many other scientific television and documentary programmes, including: The Secret of Life (1993), A Planet for Taking (1985), Yellowstone to Yukon: The Wildlands Project (1993). David Suzuki also founded the well-known science radio programme Quirks and Quarks which covers recent discoveries and broadcasts in-depth documentaries on the latest scientific discoveries and news. He is also the author of over 50 books for both adults and children. In recent years, Suzuki has been a spokesperson on global climate change and sustainable ecology.

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