For all of those who may not have been following the CBC has a TV series called The Greatest Canadian. Over the summer Canadians voted and the CBC has made episodes about the top ten nominees. Among them is David Suzuki.
In the next few days voting will stop (maybe on Wednesday, maybe later on in the week, CBC hasn't been clear) and the person with the most votes will win.
David Suzuki is probably best known to Canadians as the long time host of the program The Nature of Things. His life story is of course much larger than the television program. Suzuki grew up in a Japanese internment camp in British Comumbia. He went on to become a highly regarded genetisist, who wasn't shy to become involved in the civil rights movement in the United States, or to take on big corporations and government for their abuse of the environment. He also thought it was important to disseminate the information he learned in a an academic context to the public, rather than a more traditional root of academic work for purely academic sake.
There are a few great Canadians in the list of the top ten. One of the reasons I will vote for Suzuki is that it sends a message to CBC that there are a lot of Canadians who would like to see more of David Suzuki on the channel. Most of the other candidates on the list are dead and while a number of them are true heros a vote for them would likely bring little tangible change to our world. A vote for Suzuki sends a message to CBC that Canadians think he is important and may help to give Suzuki a little publicity in the media.
Picking a greatest Canadian isn't easy, but if you feel like me and think David Suzuki is deserving, then vote as soon as you can. If not vote for who you think is best. For those of you voting for someone else, or for Suzuki, I'd love to hear your pick.
Below I've included some information on how to vote and on David Suzuki.
For all the details on voting visit. http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/
If you would like to learn more about Suzuki there are some great video clips at:http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-74-663/.../david_suzuki/
The videos have all kinds of info on Suzuki, from death threats, his his early life, his love of the environment, his teaching philosophy, his battles against discrimination, a semi nude pose he did for a magazine to show the benefits of healthy living, even a skit he did with the Royal Canadian Air Farce etc....
TIME TO VOTE! (From CBC Site)
There are THREE ways to vote for your Greatest Canadian.
1. On the Web : All you need is a valid email address. You can vote once per episode, per email address.
2. By Toll-Free Telephone : Dial 1-866-303-VOTE (8683) and follow the instructions. The first five votes, per phone number, per episode will be counted (dont forget to vote using your cell phone, too!).
3. By Text Message : Using your text-enabled cell phone, text the first or last name of the nominee to CBC10 (22210). You can text your vote once per episode, per text device.
DAVID SUZUKI (From CBC site)
A world-renowned geneticist, academic and broadcaster, Dr. David Suzuki has spent the past 40 years educating the public about environmental issues, both in the classroom and over the airwaves.
As the long-running host of CBC's The Nature of Things and the author of more than 30 books, Suzuki has been called a 'gladiatorial geneticist' who mixes education with entertainment to get his ideas across to the public. Never one to step down from a fight, the passionate and often controversial Suzuki has earned a well-deserved reputation as an environmental guru for two generations of Canadians.
David T. Suzuki and his twin sister Marcia were born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1936. His early years were spent living with his family in the back of their dry-cleaning business in Marpole, a primarily white neighbourhood. His father Kaoru "Carr" Suzuki, an avid outdoorsman, helped shape Suzuki's interest in nature early by taking his son on camping and fishing trips.
His life was uprooted in 1942 when the Suzuki family was sent to an internment camp following the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbour. The next three years of Suzuki's life were spent living in an abandoned hotel in a former gold rush town. On top of the indignities he and his family experienced, he also became a target for other Japanese youth for his refusal to disavow his Canadian roots.
After the war, Suzuki and his family were relocated to Ontario where they eventually settled in London. A bright student from a young age, Suzuki enrolled in Amherst College in Massachusetts on a scholarship in 1954. Originally intending to go on to medical school, a third-year genetics class altered his course after he learned of the "detective story" behind genetics research. After graduating from Amherst in 1958, he earned his PhD in Zoology from the University of Chicago before returning to Canada, with his young family in tow. He took on his first teaching jobs, at University of Alberta in 1962, then at the University of British Columbia the subsequent year.
It was around this time that he began appearing as a guest on several TV shows, in part out of curiosity and in part as an effort to drum up public support for what he considered the woefully under-funded sciences. After seeing what effect he was having, he made the move to national broadcasting in 1971 as host of the weekly CBC Television show Suzuki on Science. Four years later he founded CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, which gained a loyal audience thanks to its irreverent attitude and use of news headlines as the basis of its science stories.
In 1979, Suzuki became the host of The Nature of Things, which became one of CBC Television's most popular and respected shows. In the three decades since the award-winning program began, it has featured in-depth documentaries on such topics as the birth of the human mind; the language of animals; the pathology of psychopaths; medical marijuana; the growth of big business farming; and the future of the Arctic. A groundbreaking 1987 episode focused on the emerging AIDS/HIV epidemic, providing many Canadians with their first understanding of the disease.
In 1990, he founded the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding innovative solutions to help conserve the natural world. Most recently the organization has advocated for Canada to back the implementation of the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas reduction.
Suzuki has been awarded numerous recognitions, including a UNESCO prize for science, a United Nations Environment Program medal and an induction as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has 15 honorary doctorates from universities in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. In addition, Canada's First Nations people have honoured him with five native names and he has been formally adopted by two tribes.
Now retired from teaching, Suzuki has dedicated himself full-time to educating the public about the importance of the natural world. It's a role that places him alongside the likes of Carl Sagan and Jacques Cousteau, and makes him one of the world's most effective ambassadors of science - and our future.