Critical Response: David Suzuki

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Critical Response

David Suzuki is the host of CBC’s hit television show, The Nature of Things, and has also written many entertaining, yet, educational essays such as “The Right Stuff.” This particular essay written by this well-known Canadian Science icon, failed to support its thesis that high school science courses should begin each class with sex education, because Suzuki spends far too much time reflecting on a personal anecdote rather than addressing the counterarguments.

Suzuki describes and reflects about a trip he had made to a northern native town where he was to address 400 “tough” students in a high school auditorium. The night he arrived in town he dropped into the motel bar and was approached by a man who happened to be a science teacher at the school he would be presenting at the next day. The man gave Suzuki a prophet of doom insisting that the so-called sex and drug crazed students will “kill and tear [Suzuki] apart”. The next day Suzuki arrived at the school with the fearful images of a blackboard jungle, filled with switchblades and drug-crazed hoods, he walked into the auditorium, took a deep breath and greeted the young audience: “I’m a geneticist. I know that you’re basically walking gonads, so I’m going to talk about sex”. The audience was immediately hooked from this opening statement and remained quiet and attentive throughout the lengthy presentation. Suzuki believes it was this statement that caused the students to react so attentively, and does not take his celebrity status or charisma into consideration. Furthermore, he can not assume that all 400 students are comfortable with his directness, certain students may have been offended and or disturbed by this unethical approach. However, I agree with Suzuki’s thoughts on teachers “starting their instruction with human sexuality and reproduction,” but only when it has relevance to the course, for example, biology. Suzuki continues by saying that, “teachers will be able to go on...
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