The Nature of Things

CBC Television David Suzuki List of The Nature of Things episodes

The Nature of Things
Narrated byDavid Suzuki
Country of originCanada
Original language(s)English
No. of series59
No. of episodes(list of episodes)
Running time30 minutes and 1 hour
Original networkCBC Television
Original release6 November 1960 (1960-11-06)
External links

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 6 November 1960. Many of the programs document nature and the effect that humans have on it, although the program's overall scope includes documentaries on any aspect of science. 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".[attribution needed][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.[3] 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.

In 1979 the show was merged with David Suzuki's Science Magazine series and expanded to an hour.[3] Suzuki reluctantly left the radio show 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.[4] There is one new episode every week which all contribute to a scientific understanding of how the world works. They are created not only for entertainment, but also to encourage and popularize education.[5]

Notable episodes



  1. ^ MacDowell, Laurel Sefton. 2012. An environmental history of Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press. Page 248
  2. ^ "50 Years of the Nature of Things". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "CBC-TV: The Nature of Things with David Suzuki: History". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 6 August 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  4. ^ Suzuki, David T. 2006. David Suzuki the autobiography. Vancouver: Greystone Books
  5. ^ "About the Show". The Nature of Things.
  6. ^ Maria Topalovich, And the Genie Goes To ...: Celebrating 50 Years of the Canadian Film Awards. Stoddart Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-7737-3238-1. pp. 89–91.
  7. ^ "Reefer Madness 2". The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. CBC-TV. Archived from the original on 13 January 2008.
  8. ^ Maze, Talia (1 June 2005). "Three for the Price of One". Ryerson Review of Journalism. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  9. ^ "The Downside of High". The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. CBC-TV. Archived from the original on 6 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Untangling Alzheimer's". 17 July 2014. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2019.