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Famous Like Me > Writer > D > Wade Davis

Profile of Wade Davis on Famous Like Me

Name: Wade Davis  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 14th December 1953
Place of Birth: British Columbia, Canada
Profession: Writer
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Edmund Wade Davis (born December 14, 1953 in British Columbia, Canada) is a noted anthropologist and ethnobotanist whose work has usually focused on the observation and analysis of the customs, beliefs, and social relations of indigenous cultures in North and South America, particularly the traditional uses and beliefs associated with plants with psychoactive properties. Among Davis' many books are The Serpent and the Rainbow (about the process of zombification in Haiti) (1986), Passage of Darkness (1988), One River (1996), and Shadows in the Sun (1998).

Wade Davis grew up in rural British Columbia before attending Brentwood College School. He received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany from Harvard University. Mostly through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent more than three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among 15 indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6,000 botanical collections. Davis's 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, an international best-seller, which appeared in 10 languages and was later released by Universal Studios as a motion picture. He is author of five other books, including One River, in which he follows in the footsteps of his mentor, Harvard ethnobotanist Dr. Richard Evans Schultes.

Davis is a citizen of Canada and Ireland and the United States. He has worked as a guide, park ranger and forestry engineer. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork among several indigenous societies of northern Canada. He has published scientific and popular articles on subjects ranging from Haitian voodoo and Amazonian myth and religion to the global biodiversity crisis, the traditional use of psychotropic drugs, and the ethnobotany of South American indigenous peoples. His discussions of drugs such as the Amazonian entheogenic tea ayahuasca reveal how some human uses of psychoactive substances can be profound and culturally enriching.

A research associate of the Institute of Economic Botany of the New York Botanical Garden, Wade Davis also is a board member of the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecotrust, Future Generations, and Cultural Survival—-all NGOs dedicated to conservation-based development and the protection of cultural and biological diversity. Recently his work has taken him to Peru, Borneo, Tibet, the high Arctic, the Orinoco Delta of Venezuela and northern Kenya. Davis's television credits include Earthguide, a 13-part television series on the environment, which he hosted and co-wrote. He also wrote for the documentaries Spirit of the Mask, Cry of the Forgotten People, and Forests Forever.

Davis is an outspoken conservationist and belongs to many non-governmental organizations that work to preserve biological and cultural diversity.

External Links

  • Official website (Flash required)
  • Biography from National Geographic
  • Interview on Massive Change Radio

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Wade Davis