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David Suzuki

David Suzuki

BA (Hons), PhD

Honorary Doctor of Science

Dr. David Suzuki is a household name and Canadian icon who has dedicated his life and talents to protecting our planet and sharing that passion in an accessible way with a broad audience. He is familiar to us as host of the longest-running CBC TV series The Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It's a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies. After earning his PhD in Zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, Suzuki gained worldwide recognition for his research on fruit flies and spent 39 years at the University of British Columbia, in the Zoology Department and then the Sustainable Development Research Institute, before becoming Professor Emeritus. 

Suzuki believes that engaging people in science informs better policy, and through his broadcasts he has helped shape the collective worldview of generations of students, scientists, policymakers and citizens. He is also a tireless defender of civil rights, having endured a B.C. internment camp with his family during the Second World War because they were Japanese. Suzuki has used his knowledge of genetics to criticize scholarship linking race and intelligence, and continues to advocate for social and environmental justice issues, especially for Indigenous communities. He has been adopted and honoured by numerous Indigenous groups in Canada and Australia. Recently, Suzuki has collaborated with The University of Winnipeg’s Dr. Ian Mauro, an acclaimed filmmaker, touring the country with films that explore the impact of climate change.

Suzuki is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of numerous awards, including UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program Medal, the 2012 Inamori Ethics Prize, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, a Gemini award, and Governor General’s award.  In 1990 he co-founded, with his wife Dr. Tara Cullis, The David Suzuki Foundation to champion solutions that will create a sustainable Canada. His written work includes more than 55 books, 19 of them for children. He holds 29 honorary degrees from universities around the world.

Almost 80 years old, Dr. David Suzuki is one of Canada’s most tireless and influential Canadians, and for his many and continued contributions, The University of Winnipeg is privileged to bestow upon him an Honorary Doctor of Science.