Fernand Séguin

A Quebec biochemist and gifted science popularizer, Fernand Séguin (1922-1988) received the Casgrain-Charbonneau Prize in pharmacology for his master's thesis. After graduating, he returned to teach at Université de Montréal while also pursuing his biochemical research in Chicago and Paris. In 1950, he founded the department of biochemical research at Hôpital Saint-Jean-de-Dieu, where he specialized in research into the biological causes of schizophrenia.

In 1954, he decided to devote himself full-time to popular education on radio and television and over the next few decades worked on a number of programs that encouraged an interest in science and even led many Quebecers to go into science as a career. ACFAS awarded him its Archambault Medal for the advancement of science in 1961, and he also received the Méritas Prize for best interviewer in 1968. But the crowning honour of his career was UNESCO's Kalinga Prize. He was the first Canadian to receive this award, "the Nobel Prize" in the field of science popularization.

Broadcasts and books

Fernand Séguin created, hosted, and sometimes produced, numerous television series, including La Science en pantoufles, La Joie de connaître, Le Roman de la science, Aux frontières de la science, L'Homme devant la science, Le Sel de la semaine and Science Réalité. He was also involved in radio shows, such as Aujourd'hui la science, and wrote school texts and other books, including Histoire de Truite-Agile, Entretiens sur la vie, Le Monde des plantes, Les Chemins de la science, La Bombe et l'orchidée and Le Cristal et la chimère.

In 1981, the Association des communicateurs scientifiques and Radio-Canada established the Fernand Séguin bursary to encourage science journalism, the most prestigious competition for francophone journalists under age 30.