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November 12, 2004

David Suzuki Receives Sigma Xi's McGovern Award

MONTREAL -- Scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster David T. Suzuki received Sigma Xi's 2004 John P. McGovern Science and Society Medal at the Society's Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference here Nov. 11-14.

Presented annually by Sigma Xi since 1984, the McGovern Award recognizes a researcher who has made an outstanding contribution to science and society. The award consists of a medal and a $4,000 honorarium. Recent recipients have included Nobel laureates Norman Borlaug, Mario Molina and Roald Hoffmann.

Suzuki is known to millions as the host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's popular science television series, The Nature of Things. His eight-part series, A Planet for the Taking, won an award from the United Nations, while his most recent CBC/PBS series, The Sacred Balance, won top prize at France’s Science Film Festival.

His other series include The Secret of Life for PBS/BBC and The Brain for the Discovery Channel. For CBC Radio he founded the long running radio series Quirks and Quarks and has presented two influential documentary series on the environment, From Naked Ape to Superspecies and It’s a Matter of Survival.

An internationally respected geneticist, Suzuki was a full professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver from 1969-2001. He is professor emeritus with UBC’s Sustainable Development Research Institute.

From 1969-1972 he was the recipient of the prestigious E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship Award for the “Outstanding Canadian Research Scientist Under the Age of 35.” His many honors include a UNESCO Kalinga prize for science, a United Nations Environment Programme medal and the Order of Canada.

He has 15 honorary doctorates from universities in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. For his work in support of Canada’s First Nations people, Suzuki has received many tributes and has been honored with seven names and formal adoption by two tribes.

Suzuki was born in Vancouver in 1936. During World War II, at the age of six, he was interned with his family in a camp there. After the war, he went to high school in London, Ontario.

Suzuki graduated with honors from Amherst College and went on to earn his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago. The author of more than 40 books, he is recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology.

As chair of the David Suzuki Foundation, established in 1990, he has worked to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us.

Focusing on four program areas—oceans and sustainable fishing, forests and wild lands, climate change and clean energy, and the web of life (what people can do to protect nature)—the foundation uses science and education to promote solutions that help conserve nature. The foundation has about 40,000 members.


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