Seguin, Fernand

Fernand Seguin, biochemist and scientific popularizer (b at Montréal, Qué 9 June 1922; d there 19 June 1988). His MA thesis, concerning a method to determine the aminopyrine in the blood, won him the Prix Casgrain-Charbonneau. He conducted biochemical research in the late 1940s in Chicago and Paris and was professor at U de M (1945-50). In 1950 he founded the biochemical research department at Saint-Jean-de-Dieu hospital, where he specialized in research into the biological causes of schizophrenia.

In 1954 he abandoned his career as a researcher and teacher and began a long series of radio and TV programs which sparked the emergence of popular scientific curiosity in Québec and inspired a number of scientific careers. Then came programs for adults: Le Roman de la science (1956-60), Aux frontières de la science (1960-61) and L'Homme devant la science. With Le Sel de la semaine (1965-70), he became more of a science critic.

From 1975 to 1977 he hosted Science Réalité (1975-77), a weekly TV show. In 1977 he became the first Canadian to receive UNESCO's Kalinga Award, the highest award for scientific popularization, joining the ranks of Bertrand Russell (1957), Julian Huxley (1953) and Margaret Mead (1970).