Ideas

The 1970 CBC Massey Lectures - "Therefore Choose Life"

Harvard University biology professor Dr. George Wald discusses the need to build community amidst technological change, the "entirely secular religion" of science and says "know all you can, but do only what seems socially useful." Wald won the 1967 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology. ListenListen to Part 1 of Therefore, Choose Life Listen to Part 2 of Therefore, Choose...

"All men, everywhere, have asked the same questions: Whence we come, what kind of thing we are, and at least some intimation of what may become of us..."

So begins Nobel Prize–winning scientist George Wald's 1970 Massey Lectures, now in print for the first time ever. Where did we come from, who are we, and what is to become of us — these questions have never been more urgent. Then, as now, the world is facing major political and social upheaval, from overpopulation to nuclear warfare to environmental degradation and the uses and abuses of technology.

Using scientific fact as metaphor, Wald meditates on our place, and role, on Earth and in the universe. He urges us to therefore choose life — to invest in our capabilities as human beings, to heed the warnings of our own self-destruction, and above all to honour our humanity.

Therefore Choose Life is published by House of Anansi.

Listen
The 1970 CBC Massey Lectures by George Wald | 28:26
The 1970 CBC Massey Lectures by George Wald | 30:50
The 1970 CBC Massey Lectures by George Wald | 26:42
The 1970 CBC Massey Lectures by George Wald | 28:57
The 1970 CBC Massey Lectures by George Wald | 32:09
The 1970 CBC Massey Lectures by George Wald | 29:53

Listen to other CBC Massey Lectures