The Nature of Things

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Not to be confused with On the Nature of Things.

The Nature of Things (also, The Nature of Things with David Suzuki) is a Canadian television series of documentary programs. It debuted on CBC Television on November 6, 1960. Many of the programs document nature and the effect that humans have on it. The program "was one of the first mainstream programs to present scientific evidence on a number of environmental issues, including nuclear power and genetic engineering".[1] The series is named after an epic poem by Roman philosopher Lucretius: "De rerum natura" — On the Nature of Things.


The first host was Donald Ivey, with Patterson Hume co-hosting many episodes.[2] Following Ivey’s departure, the second season continued with several guest hosts, including Lister Sinclair, Donald Crowdis, and John Livingston.[3] Since 1979, it has been hosted by David Suzuki.[4] The series has won many awards and Suzuki has won three Gemini Awards and one ACTRA Award as best host. Documentarian William Whitehead has also been a frequent writer for the series. When Suzuki took over as the host of the show in 1979 he reluctantly left the radio show called Quirks and Quarks. He enjoyed radio as a medium because it was less restricted when compared to television, but saw benefits in switching to television. He stated that television had a greater impact as it reached more people, and this was important because he wanted to make science accessible to the general public. The goal of The Nature of Things with David Suzuki was to translate the confusing and complex scientific language into concepts that the general public could understand. This would give people the information that they need in order to make informed decisions about how science and technology should be managed.[5] There is one new episode every week which all contributes to a scientific understanding of how the world works. They are created not only for entertainment, but also to encourage and popularize education.[6]

Notable episodes[edit]


  1. ^ MacDowell, Laurel Sefton. 2012. An environmental history of Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press. Page 248
  2. ^ "History of the Nature of Things". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2010-02-06. [dead link]
  3. ^ "CBC-TV: The Nature of Things with David Suzuki: History". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2010-02-06. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Dr. David Suzuki". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2006-04-17. [dead link]
  5. ^ Suzuki, David T. 2006. David Suzuki the autobiography. Vancouver: Greystone Books. <{7B487BD5-65F3-4C8C-A86A-87DF634CDDB4}&Format=410.>
  6. ^ CBC News |url= missing title (help). 
  7. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  8. ^ CBC News |url= missing title (help). [dead link]
  9. ^ CBC News |url= missing title (help). 

External links[edit]