David Suzuki is perhaps the most
recognizable face in CKUA's science programming. Few listeners would
realize that he started his career studying fruit flies at the University
of Alberta, but his impact on radio would be felt during the '80s in his
That, plus the 15-minute Alberta School Broadcasts produced for the
Department of Education in the early '80s, is but one example of a more
predictable use of the airwaves in the area of science in technology. But
novel approaches to both edification and education would occasionally find
their way to CKUA. In the late'60s, for example, doctors would update
their skills in a pilot series sponsored by the U of A's Faculty of
Medicine. The series would marry printed materials with a radio broadcast
of a medical problem, showing new techniques of diagnosis and treatment.
In addition to Discover, there would be science-related adult-education
programming, and other series that would make a mark such as Women in
Science, Recombinant DNA and Beyond (biological engineering and its
implications for society), The Chip and You (a 13-week guide to
computers), and the award-winning basic science series, Listen to the
Prairie, written by David and Andrea Spalding.
In 1981, one program in the Listen to the Prairie series, Prairie
Rattlesnake, won the coveted Minister of Education Prize for Radio in the
Japan Prize International Educational Program Contest.
In the '90s, CKUA has carried the ongoing science, research and technology
series, Innovation Alberta, hosted by freelance producer Cheryl Croucher.
The series has won an excellence in journalism award for Croucher from the
Alberta Chamber of Resources. The success of this series led to the
development of the independent web-based Innovation Alberta Omnimedia
Project, a multimedia and publishing project that celebrates science and
innovation in Alberta.
science and technology series still being broadcast include Earth & Sky,
and The Climate Change. The latter series was launched in January and
replaces the award-winning EcoFiles series, broadcast since 1996 and
retired in fall 2002 after 312 episodes.