Popular Explorer, Writer, Filmmaker to Speak at U of G

September 10, 2010 - Campus Bulletin

Wade Davis, a Canadian-born bestselling writer, filmmaker, photographer and National Geographic explorer-in-residence, will speak at the University of Guelph Sept. 18.

His visit is part of the Eden Mills Writers' Festival's "In Conversation" series. Davis will speak at 2 p.m. in the Science Complex Atrium. Advance tickets are available online, and tickets will also be available at the door.

As a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Davis travels the globe to live alongside indigenous people and documents their cultural practices in books, photographs and film. His work has taken him from the Amazon to Tibet, from the Arctic to Africa, from Australia to Mongolia, and from Polynesia to New Guinea.

An anthropologist and ethnobotanist, he delivered the CBC Massey Lectures, Canada’s most prestigious intellectual forum, in 2009. The lectures were published as The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World.

Davis has written 13 books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow; The Clouded Leopard: A Book of Travels; Light at the Edge of the World, which was made into a documentary series; and The Lost Amazon. His books have been translated into 14 languages, and in 2002 he received the Lannan Foundation Literary Award for Nonfiction.

In 2009, he received the Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and his work in raising public concern about the plight of indigenous peoples throughout the world. He serves on the councils of Ecotrust and other NGOs working to protect diversity. He also co-founded Cultures on the Edge, a quarterly online magazine designed to raise awareness of threatened communities.

Davis has undergraduate degrees in anthropology and biology and a PhD in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. He holds chairs at both Oxford and Cambridge universities. In 2008, U of G awarded him an honorary degree for his many achievements and contributions.

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