Michael Riordon, a Canadian writer and documentary-maker.
A spirit of restless inquiry drives my work – six books, more than 60 spoken word/audio documentaries and plays, films and videos. A guiding impulse is to question: authority, givens, habits of thought, easy answers. For more about my earlier books, see Other Books.
Bold Scientists emerged from my own fear and anger.
I’m afraid for the earth, naturally, but also for imagination, compassion, truth-telling, humility, and common sense. We are so smart in our inventions that we believe we’re omniscient, and so powerful in our effects that we believe we’re omnipotent. But we are neither, and believing we are makes us crazy.
I’m angry because so few people hold so much power, with no just cause, and do so much harm with it. I’m angry because so many of us fail to exercise the limited but real power we still have. I include myself in that charge: it’s not that I do nothing, but neither do I do enough.
Tyrants are fond of telling us, “There is no alternative.” They lie. There are alternatives, always. When tyrants prevent us from seeing them, visionaries insist on imagining them and fighting for them.
A primary goal of my work is to recover voices of people who have been silenced in the mainstream, written out of the official version. My focus embraces queer folk across Canada, First Nations (aboriginal) youth, Mozambican farmers, inmates in Canadian prisons, traditional healers in Fiji, Guatemalan labour activists, grassroots activists for justice and freedom in Palestine-Israel. And now scientists.
Each of their voices adds a vital fragment to the evolving human story, our collective work-in-progress. Together they challenge the noisy monotone of the official version, and celebrate the riotous diversity of life.
I also lead courses, workshops and seminars for community organizations, trade unions, schools, colleges and universities.
And live with my partner in rural eastern Ontario, Canada.
Thanks to the Access Copyright Foundation for supporting the creation of this blog, and to Jessica Posgate for collaborating on design and outreach. Responsibility for content rests with the blogger.