1958

CBC TV broadcasts from coast to coast.

Donald Ivey
The first host, Donald Ivey
1960

CBC launches a half-hour science series called The Nature of Things. In the first year, the series covered topics such as the human brain and body, the Aurora Borealis, the laws of probability, and even science fiction with Dr. Isaac Asimov.

1961

Between 1961 and 1979, The Nature of Things has a number of guest hosts, including Lister Sinclair, Donald Crowdis and John Livingston.

1966

The Nature of Things broadcasts a five-part series about the Galapagos Islands.  It is the first CBC produced series to be broadcast in colour. It features the life and work of Charles Darwin and four documentaries about the flora and fauna of the Islands.  

David Suzuki
David Suzuki, present host of The Nature of Things
1974

A new half-hour science series becomes created, called Science Magazine that starred geneticist Dr. David Suzuki as the on camera host.

1979

Science Magazine and The Nature of Things merge to become a new one-hour show The Nature of Things with David Suzuki.

1980

The Nature of Things is the first foreign TV series to film a broad range of science subjects in China.

 

1982

The Nature of Things produces a program about a watershed in the Queen Charlotte Islands, B.C. (Haida Gwaii), called Windy Bay. The program raises awareness about the destruction of the temperate rainforest.  In 1988, the Windy Bay watershed became a part of a new national park, the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve.

1985

After three years of filming around the world, The Nature of Things broadcasts a thought- provoking and beautiful eight-part series exploring the basis of our modern relationship with the natural world. A Planet for the Taking generates a huge interest and each show draws around two million viewers.

David Suzuki
Looking at AIDS in Africa
1987

The Nature of Things produces one of the first primetime documentaries on the AIDS epidemic providing Canadians with an understanding of this new disease, and the scientific research around it as well as a plea for the ethical treatment of those suffering with the disease.

Nuclear Power: The Hot Debate - a look at the pros and cons of nuclear power that raises questions about the safety of this form of power generation. The program was scheduled to be re-broadcast in 1989, but the CBC withdrew the show. The move catches the attention of the media, and the show becomes the subject of a real "hot debate." In the end, the program is re-broadcast in 1989 with an added "debate" about the issues that the program raises.

1988

The Nature of Things visits the U.S.S.R. and examines Soviet science under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev

 

1989

A two-hour special, Amazonia: The Road to the End of the Forest, looks at a World Bank project that was committed to financing 110 dams that would have flooded a huge area of rainforest. The promised loans were withdrawn due to local and global opposition. Viewers respond as well, sending in thousands of requests for more information.  The Nature of Things staff spends hours upon hours stuffing informational packages for concerned viewers.

 

1991

Voices in the Forest - a two-part series about clear-cut logging practices in Canada. This special strikes a chord with Canadians, many of whom do not realize the extent and impacts of clear-cut logging that is going on at that time Canada. The program also spark controversy when CIBC threatens to withdraw its ads from the CBC during the program's broadcast. In turn, members of the public threaten to boycott CIBC.

David Suzuki
Publicity shot for Animals in Research

Animals in Research: Breaking the Habit. This program explores the use of animals in research at a time when the debate over the issue is heating up. Some members of the medical community strongly object to the program and a debate about the issues is added for the repeat broadcast.

1999

The Nature of Things airs The Pill, a compelling documentary that offers a look at the hidden history of the oral contraceptive.  The pill is the most widely used drug in the world, and the filmmakers are not afraid to take a look at the darker side of their side-effects.

In the fall of 1999, the series airs Phallacies – an intimate look at the male sexual organ.  The show raises awareness, but what really creates a stir is David Suzuki's now famous portrait… with a fig leaf.

2004

 

Arctic Mission, a five-part series on the effects of climate change in the Arctic, goes to air, becoming one of the first CBC documentary programs to be broadcast in HD. The series presents extraordinary footage of the region's residents, including polar bears, muskox, caribou and plankton, and examines the potentially devastating effects of climate change on them and on the Inuit. These were the first HD surface and underwater cameras used in the Canadian Arctic.

Geologic Journey
Geologists explore underneath Niagara Falls
2007

The Nature of Things airs the epic five-part series Geologic Journey, a sweeping tour of our national pride – the vast, wild beauty we call Canada.  A groundbreaking series shot in HD, the series features advanced scientific research, breathtaking aerial photography and compelling personal narratives that brings audiences along on a thoughtful and compelling journey.

In partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Geologic Journey is also featured in a series of launch screenings across the country, and is incorporated into school curriculums from coast-to-coast.

Antartic Mission
The Sedna IV in the Antarctic Sea
2008

Following-up on the success of 2004's Arctic Mission, The Nature of Things presents the breathtaking series Antarctic Mission.  An adventurous team of filmmakers, scientists and sailors on a 17-month expedition aboard the SEDNA IV, look at the impact of climate change in the Antarctic, braving the Planet's roughest and coldest seas.

Sarika Suzuki-Cullis joins her father in Europe for the first of The Suzuki Diaries.  The episode reveals a personal side to David Suzuki, and showcases the possibilities for a sustainable future.

2009

One Ocean, an ambitious, provocative and stunning four-part documentary series that portrays the ocean more completely than ever before, revealing its awesome beauty and extraordinary power.

David Suzuki celebrates 30 years as the show's host.

Geologic Journey
UTSC Geologist Dr. Nick Eyles hosts Geologic Journey II
2010-2011

The Nature of Things celebrates its 50th season.  David Suzuki celebrates his 75th birthday.

The anniversary season features a wide range of compelling stories: the mysterious intelligence of the octopus, the reintroduction of the extinct black-footed ferret, the emotional life of orphan elephants, our incredible plastic brains and Geologic Journey II, a follow-up to the first series, this time, the series reveals the stunning and spectacular geology of the world's continents.

Wild Canada

Wild Canada


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NEWS SERIES: Follow our team online as we work on a new series, Wild Canadian Year , debuting in October 2017.

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