David T. Suzuki Zoology, Animals, Physiology, Metabolism

Geneticist and science communicator: famous as popularizer of science and ecological issues

The Story

An award winning scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster, Suzuki has been known world-wide since the late 1960s as a popularizer of science and ecological issues. He has written over thirty books and innumerable articles, and hosted many TV and radio shows on science, including CBC's Suzuki on Science, Science Magazine, Quirks & Quarks (radio) and The Nature of Things. His PBS eight-part series, The Secret of Life, was widely praised in the US and internationally, as was his special Cyberspace and his five-part series, The Brain.

Suzuki was born in Vancouver, BC. He was 6 years old when, along with many Japanese-Canadian citizens, he was interred in a camp during World War II. After the war, he grew up in London, Ontario. He graduated in the field of genetics, and in 1962 was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Alberta. The following year he came to UBC, and in 1969 was appointed Professor of Zoology. He is also a senior associate on the staff at UBC's Sustainable Development Research Institute. He founded and chairs the David Suzuki Foundation, an environmental non-profit organization registered in Canada and working to find and communicate practical ways in which we can live within our planet's productive capacity.

Suzuki has written or co-written more than 32 books, including An Introduction to Genetic Analysis (2000), The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature (1999) and Genethics: The Clash Between the New Genetics and Human Values (1990). Among his 15 books for children are Looking at Insects, which won a Children's Literature Award in 1988, and You Are the Earth: From Dinosaur Breath to Pizza from Dirt, released in 2000.

Sources: Canadian Who’s Who 1993, David Suzuki Foundation, CBC website, Royal Society of Canada; Photo: CBC website.

The Person

March 24, 1936
Vancouver, BC
Vancouver, BC
Family Members
  • Wife: Dr. Tara Cullis
  • Children: two
Professor of Zoology
University of British Columbia
  • BA (Biology), Amherst College, Massachusetts, 1958
  • PhD (Zoology), U of Chicago, 1961
  • Officer, Order of Canada, 1976
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 1978
  • Fellow, American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, 1980
  • Sanford Fleming Medal (Royal Canadian Institute), 1982
  • Medal of Honour (Canadian Medical Assn.) 1984
  • Environmental Program Medal (UN), 1985
  • Governor General Award for Conservation, 1985
  • Kalinga Prize (UNESCO), 1986
  • Gold Medal Award (Biological Society of Canada), 1986
  • Environmental Achievement Award, Environment Canada, 1990
  • Order of British Columbia, 1995
  • McNeil Me
Last Updated
April 8, 2015

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