David Cayley is a Toronto-based Canadian writer and broadcaster. Over the course of his career, he has interviewed some of the leading environmental experts, scientists, philosophers, and activists of our day. For more than thirty years (1981-2012) he made radio documentaries for CBC Radio One’s program Ideas, which premiered in 1965 under the title The Best Ideas You’ll Hear Tonight.
In 1966, at the age of twenty, Cayley joined the Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO), one of the many volunteer organizations that sprang up in the 1960’s to promote international development. Two years later, back in Canada, he began to associate with a group of returned volunteers whose experiences had made them, like himself, increasingly quizzical about the idea of development. In 1968 in Chicago, he heard a lecture given by Ivan Illich and in 1970 he and others brought Illich to Toronto for a teach-in called “Crisis in Development.” This was the beginning of their long relationship: eighteen years later Cayley invited Illich to do a series of interviews for CBC Radio’s Ideas.
Cayley is the author of Ideas on the Nature of Science (2009), The Rivers North of the Future: The Testament of Ivan Illich (2004), Puppet Uprising (2003),The Expanding Prison: The Crisis in Crime and Punishment and the Search for Alternatives (1998), George Grant in Conversation (1995), Northrop Frye in Conversation (1992), Ivan Illich in Conversation (1992), and The Age of Ecology (1990). His articles have appeared in numerous Canadian publications and he has given public lectures in the US and Canada.
He received the Canadian Science Writers’ Association Award for “Religion and the New Science in 1985 and the Canadian Association for Community Living Award for “Beyond Institutions” in 1994. In 2014 he recieved John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in the Field of Media Ecology from the Media Ecology Association.
David Cayley has an Honourary Doctorate in Sacred Letters from Thornloe University.