5 Q’s With Jay Ingram

Jay’s well known to Canadian science fans from his years hosting Daily Planet and Quirks and Quarks, and as a best selling author. Oh, and recipient of the Order of Canada. But there’s much more to this Anthropomania co-host, like who he’d really like to interview and never has.

1. Anthropomania refers to our “complicated relationship” with animals and plants and everything in between. Why is it so complicated? Is it due to nature or nurture?

It’s complicated because it cuts both ways: Jane Goodall naming her chimps instead of numbering them opened the door to thinking about animals of all kinds differently. But why do we always say that weasels are ‘vicious’ killers? Any carnivore attacks to kill, but we something in their behaviour that makes us uncomfortable. That’s Anthropomania.

2. What (or who) is on your ‘dream episode’ of Anthropomania?

If I had a talk show back in Victorian England I’d try to snag Charles Darwin as a guest (although I’d worry he’d be a little soft-spoken). He was well ahead of his time, and not just in evolutionary theory.

3. What animal has left the biggest impression on you whether during travel abroad or close to home?

Baby pandas in an enclosure at the Wolong Panda Reserve in China. I had two minutes to play with them and they were like enthusiastic puppies. A year later they likely would have attacked me.

Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson

4. What’s on your reading list these days?

Two Patti Smith books and Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson.

5. On the latest episode (Aliens Among Us) you talk about invasive species. Are there any invasive plants or animals (aka aliens) living ‘amongst’ you?

Amongst me? LOL … Sure I have white clover in front of my house, a particularly invasive plant called creeping bellflower, house sparrows and pigeons.

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