Canada's academic stars to converge on Victoria

Hey Victoria, get ready to host more than 400 of Canada’s brightest academic minds—Canada’s national academy is coming to town.

Royal Society of Canada (RSC) scientists, scholars and artists from across the country will converge on the Fairmont Empress Hotel in downtown Victoria on Nov. 26-28 for the society’s annual general meeting.

“We’re very pleased to be the presenting sponsor for this event,” says University of Victoria President Jamie Cassels. “This gathering is an opportunity for all of us to welcome Canada’s eminent scholars and celebrate their impacts in areas vital to Canada and the world.”

The AGM kicks off with a public event—a special day-long Symposium on Canadian Marine Biodiversity on Thursday, Nov. 26. Researchers from across Canada will discuss ways to build, protect and sustain marine ecosystems in the face of climate change and other human pressures. Among the speakers are two UVic faculty members—biologist Julia Baum and geographer and humanist Rosemary Ommer. See backgrounder for details.

The RSC will also welcome new fellows and college members into its fold, and award medals for outstanding achievement—it’s a bit like the Academy Awards for Canadian academics. This year, eight UVic researchers are among those to be honoured.

Elected as new fellows—the country’s highest academic honour—are celebrated playwright Joan MacLeod, chemist Frank van Veggel and philosopher James Young.

Elected as members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists (rising stars) are: composer Dániel Péter Biró, exercise psychologist Ryan Rhodes and astronomer Sara Ellison. To see short videos of these three talking about the impact of their work visit

Ellison also wins the RSC’s Rutherford Medal for outstanding achievement in a branch of physics; writer Jack Hodgins wins the 2014 Pierce Medal for outstanding achievement in imaginative literature; and Julio Navarro, one of the world’s leading cosmologists, wins the 2015 Tory Medal for outstanding achievement in astronomy.

“We congratulate our new fellows, college members and medal winners,” says David Castle, UVic’s vice-president research. “This incredible breadth of expertise and impact really speaks to this university’s research strength as a whole.”

Details on all eight individuals are included in the backgrounder.

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Click here for the backgrounder.

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Keywords: award

People: Julia Baum, Rosemary Ommer, Joan MacLeod, Frank van Veggel, Dániel Péter Biró, Ryan Rhodes, Sara Ellison, James Young, Jack Hodgins, Julio Navarro

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