Show 028: Wade Davis – The Way Finders

April 6th, 2013

Don’t miss this incredible journey with the explorer in residence at the National Geographic Society, Wade Davis. “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit.” Listen and learn as he explores the fundamental questions of what it means to be human and alive. Through his stories and wisdom, Wade makes the convincing case that we need to preserve the diversity of the world’s cultures, spiritual beliefs and languages as much as we do endangered species and plants. We know who we are as a species by our diversity- This conversation may well change the way you see the world and your place in it.

 

wade davisWade Davis is a Canadian anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer whose work has focused on worldwide indigenous cultures, especially in North and South America and particularly involving the traditional uses and beliefs associated with psychoactive plants. Davis came to prominence with his 1985 best-selling book The Serpent and the Rainbowabout the zombies of Haiti  He has published prolifically with ten other works translated into over 14 languages.   Davis has contributed to  OutsideNational GeographicFortune andCondé Nast Traveler.

An ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker, Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Mostly through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent over three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among fifteen indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6000 botanical collections. In 1974, at the age of 20, he crossed the Darien Gap on foot in the company of the celebrated English author and amateur explorer, Sebastian Snow. His work later took him to Haiti to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies, an assignment that led to his writing Passage of Darkness (1988) and The Serpent and the Rainbow (1986), an international best seller later released by Universal as a motion picture.

Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Named by the NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.”  In recent years his work has taken him to East Africa, Borneo, Nepal, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Australia, Colombia, Vanuatu, Mongolia and the high Arctic of Nunuvut and Greenland.

 

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