Bob McDonald has been communicating science internationally through television, radio, print and live presentations for more than 30 years. He is the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, the award-winning science program with a national audience of nearly 500,000 people. He is also a regular reporter for CBC Television’s The National as well as Gemini winning host and writer of the children’s series Head’s Up. McDonald has also hosted Greatest Canadian Invention and the seven-part series Water Under Fire.
As a print journalist, McDonald has authored three science books and contributed to numerous science textbooks, newspapers and magazines including The Globe and Mail, Owl Magazine and many others. His latest book is Measuring the Earth With a Stick, and he has written the introductions to The Quirks & Quarks Question Book, The Guide to Space: 42 Questions (and Answers) About Life, the Universe, and Everything as well as Nasty, Brutish and Short, the Quirks Guide to Animal Sex.
Beyond his work in media, McDonald is Chairman of Geospace, an exciting new environmental centre and planetarium for the Toronto Waterfront.
McDonald has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of science in Canada as the recipient of the Michael Smith Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Sir Sanford Fleming Medal from the Royal Canadian Institute and the McNeil Medal from The Royal Society of Canada. McDonald was also the recipient of a 2008 Gemini Award for Best Host in a Pre-School, Children's or Youth Program or Series.
He has received six honourary Doctorates, from the University of Guelph, Carleton University, Laurentian, McMaster, University of Winnipeg and University of Calgary. In 2011, he was appointed to the Order of Canada.
McDonald is constantly in demand to speak for a variety of audiences across Canada.
Being There: Science as I've Seen It
After more than 30 years of reporting on science, this journalist has seen a lot, from the exploration of our entire solar system by robots, to the computer and genetic revolutions that have profoundly changed our lives. We live in remarkable times where the most powerful tools humanity has ever known are in our grasp. Do we have the wisdom to use these tools wisely'
Energy, Who Cares'
Canadians consume more energy per person than almost every other country. We live in a land rich in resources but supplies are dwindling and demand is rising. Climate change is forcing a re-thinking of our energy use, what are the realistic alternatives to a clean energy future'
From The Pit To The Peak: Extreme Canadian Science
A travellers tale from the depths of a nickle mine in Sudbury where neutrinoes are captured, to the peak of the worlds largest mountain, Canadian science is at the forefront of scientific investigation. Our astronauts are an intricate part of NASA and our laboratories are churning out world class data. Canada does great science, which is largely unappreciated in this country. It also places us in a position to provide the knowledge base to address some of the serious world problems and lead by example to sensible solutions.
I Don't Get It! Environmental Conundrums
When the first energy crisis happened in 1973, large gas guzzling cars were instantly unpopular as efficiency became a priority. Why then, as gas prices have continued to rise, are large, gas guzzling SUV's so popular' Why do people oppose Kyoto' Why are protests mounted over windmills when they are clean producers of energy' Why is Canada one of the worst consumers of energy and water in the world' Scientists have been sounding alarm bells about environmental decline for decades, why is real social change so slow in coming' Are there realistic solutions out there'
Perspectives on a Planet
This presentation looks at the Earth in its full environmental context: a small rock covered in a thin film of water and air just close enough to an average star to support intelligent life. There is no other world like it. While robots have visited eight other nearby worlds and telescopes have spotted more than 250 planets around other stars, not one of them is like our Earth. Looking at our planet in a holistic way we see how its face has changed over time, how human activity is altering that face today and examines ways we can take care of the little bit of air and water that clings to its surface for the future.
Science in the Third Millennium
In the last thousand years, humanity has emerged from the dark ages and touched the moon. As a science journalist, it is an exquisite privilege to witness the remarkable new achievements, discoveries and challenges at the cutting edge of our knowledge. Canada's contributions, from the search for dark matter in the depths of a Sudbury mine to exploring the winds of Mars are internationally recognized. The third millennium will be a remarkable time for Canadian science.
Surviving The Third Millennium
Climate change, water supply, droughts on the prairies, floods on the coasts, energy shortage, growing population, clones, computer kids...the future can look scary sometimes. Can we engineer our way through another thousand years of civilization' This optimist says yes, and Canada is in a position to lead the way.
Vacations in Space
A fanciful look into the future when a weekend to a space hotel, or ski trip to the snows of Mars will be available to everyone. Take a swim in a zero-gravity pool or float through the orange clouds of Jupiter. Of course, like any traveller, you will think about the planet you left behind and how remarkably unique or Earth really is.
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