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(From the Chan Shun Concert Hall, Chan Centre, University of British Columbia)

Delivered in November 8th, 2006, Wade Davis’ talk will take you on a journey through the realm of vanishing cultures, using compassion, eloquence and expertise to illustrate the pressing need for preserving and protecting the vast knowledge, language, wisdom and world views of indigenous cultures.

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Wade Davis is an anthropologist, botanist, and best-selling author. 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 (1986). Davis 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 Indians. His photographs have been published widely. Recently Davis’s work has taken him to Peru, Borneo, Tibet, the high Arctic, the Orinoco Delta of Venezuela, and northern Kenya.