Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

June 28, 2005 12:15 ET

Honouring Public Service Excellence: The Professional Institute Presents 2005 Gold Medal

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 28, 2005) - In a ceremony held today, Michele Demers, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada presented the Institute's Gold Medal to Dr. Derek C.G. Muir, Project Chief and Research Scientist, Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Branch of Environment Canada's National Water Research Institute in Burlington, Ontario. The National Water Research Institute, Canada's largest freshwater research establishment, conducts a comprehensive program of research and development in the aquatic sciences, in partnership with the Canadian and international science communities.

Dr. Derek Muir was awarded the 2005 Gold Medal in the field "of pure and applied science" in recognition of his work in environmental science, most particularly for his research on persistent organic pollutants (POPS).

In her remarks, Michele Demers said, "There are few individuals who, at the scientific level, have a lifetime achievement that is equal to Dr. Muir. A highly cited, widely regarded scientist, Derek Muir has focussed his research on the methods of detection, an understanding of environmental partitioning, and the environmental impact of organic pollutants. His work was a major contribution to the global convention on POPs - the Stockholm Convention. His achievements are a shining example of the many outstanding contributions of Canada's public service employees."

Dr. Derek Muir's work has been particularly important in the Arctic North. His identification of the potential of long range atmospheric transport of pesticides to remote locations has been of particular benefit to Canada, but of course is applicable across the world and serves as a basis for his greatest international contribution. Indeed, the approach to pollutants and their long range impact which culminated in the Stockholm Convention represents the way in which robust scientific work and profound understandings of the implications of the findings can impact global decision making and behaviour.

"The contribution to the public good of dedicated professionals like Derek Muir confirms that government, and in particular the federal government, has a unique role to play as a patron of science and technology research. The government is responsible for creating and maintaining a climate in which fruitful science and technology research can take place. It must also create a favourable economic climate for fostering the country's economic competitiveness," added Ms. Demers.

"Every year, our Gold Medal Award panel of judges tell us of the challenge they face to select only one laureate given the outstanding accomplishments of the candidates. Canada indeed has a high calibre public service worthy of public recognition."

The Institute extends its sincere appreciation to the independent panel of judges who generously volunteered their time and expertise to make this year's Gold Medal Award program a success. The Selection Panel was composed of Dr. Calvin Stiller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund, Dr. Gilles Patry, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa and Dr. Emoke J.E. Szathmáry, President of the University of Manitoba. In their report, the selection committee observed "Dr. Muir is singled out as an extraordinary scientist because he has combined excellence and world competitive laboratory science, along with the capacity to interpret the science, and has had it translated into beneficial public policy".

The Professional Institute established the Gold Medal Award program in 1937 to recognize professional public service employees whose outstanding work has led to the improvement and enhancement of public well-being. The program's other objective is to promote greater awareness of the role and value of professional public services in Canada and globally. The award is presented on a yearly basis. In odd-numbered years, the award is presented for achievement in the field of pure and applied science, and in even-numbered years it is presented for achievement in a field other than pure and applied science.

The award is a 14-carat gold medal engraved with the Institute's logo along with a certificate acknowledging the achievement.

To be eligible for this prestigious award, nominees must be, or have been, employees of federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, regional or aboriginal government services. To qualify for the award, candidates' work must have been performed during their tenure in the public service.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the largest multi-profession union in Canada, represents 50,000 scientists and other professionals.

Contact Information

  • Professional Institute of the Public Service
    Bill Corcoran
    Information Officer
    1-800-267-0446, ext. 2232