Graham Pearson

“Life is So Complex and Amazing”

If you could ask the prime minister one question, what would it be? This expert in Arctic resources has a very important inquiry in mind.


Graham Pearson is a Professor and Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic Resources at the University of Alberta. We asked him everything from what historical figure he would like to meet to what’s on his playlist in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.

What’s on your playlist?
I am very odd – for a long time I had records of racing motorcycle engine noises! Now it’s classical music.

What do you read?
On the occasions where I get the spare time to read non-science, then it’s either a fly fishing magazine or history. Real life is so complex and amazing I don’t feel the need for fiction!

If you could meet any historical figure who would it be and why?
The current prime minister of Canada. I’d like to know why natural resources research does not get more money in this country when we are totally dependent on it.

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?
I used to want to open the batting for England at cricket. But nowadays it would be a fly fishing guide.

What do you like to do for fun?
Canoe down the Thelon River in Northern Canada, mapping the geology and fishing, with my wife.

What advice would you give young researchers?
Einstein was right – research is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. There will never be any substitute for hard work. But if you stick at it, even the hard work is tremendous fun! Always do things you are interested in, not just for the money.