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Distinguished Canadians: A.D. Pickett

Distinguished Canadians was a weekly series featuring an interview with an outstanding Canadian. The guests were from a variety of disciplines: science, the arts and humanities, education, politics and religion. Ain Soodor produced the program.

Pesticides and pollution dominate the news in 1972, and for A.D. Pickett the topic hits close to home. A farmer turned entomologist, he's well aware of their impact on the environment. One of the most popular books of the time is Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. As we see in this clip, Pickett is not totally opposed to pesticides in theory, but he objects to "wide spectrum" pesticides that affect birds, wildlife and bees. He believes that humans should maintain themselves in the natural environment without interfering with it. Lastly, Pickett talks about the importance of organic farming and its place in the world.

• Alison DeForest Pickett was born in Lower Kars, N.B. in 1900. When he was 16 he went to work on a ranch in Alberta.

• In 1922, Pickett attended the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, graduating in 1925. He enriched his studies by attending the Ontario Agricultural College and McGill University, earning his degrees in science, specializing in entomology.

• In 1929 he returned to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College as professor of zoology and genetics, a position he held for 10 years.

• In 1950 he was appointed the director of the entomology research program at Annapolis Royal. During his tenure he conducted extensive research into "integrated" pest management. This was also known as the Nova Scotia Experiment, internationally recognized for its research results.

• In 1989, Pickett received an honourary doctorate from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

• A.D. Pickett died in 1991.

Medium: Television
Program: Distinguished Canadians
Broadcast Date: July 17, 1972
Guest(s): A. D. Pickett
Interviewer: John David Hamilton
Duration: 26:44

Last updated: February 3, 2012

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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