Government of Canada

Government of Canada

March 24, 2011 10:56 ET

Memorial University of Newfoundland Professor Earns Award for Promoting Science

CORNER BROOK, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - March 24, 2011) - A Memorial University of Newfoundland science professor has been recognized for inspiring countless young minds to pursue careers in chemistry and other scientific disciplines, over the last three decades. Geoff Rayner-Canham has received a 2010 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Award for Science Promotion in recognition of his work promoting chemistry to students in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Nunavut.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the immense importance of work done by dedicated teachers like Dr. Rayner-Canham to encourage our young people's interest in science," said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "The students he inspires will become tomorrow's innovators."

Dr. Rayner-Canham's enthusiasm for science led him to start performing chemistry demonstrations at Corner Brook area schools in 1978. Since that time, he has remained dedicated to promoting an understanding of chemistry in the daily lives of Canadians. Focusing on the chemistry of everyday materials, such as diapers, cosmetics and polymers, he and his team of student assistants give demonstrations to some 800 students every year.

"Dr. Rayner-Canham's work promoting chemistry to students in eastern and northern Canada helps encourage the next generation of eager young minds to pursue careers in science," said Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC. "He helps inspire future scientists and engineers who will deliver new knowledge and benefits to Canadians."

The NSERC Awards for Science Promotion honour individuals and groups who make an outstanding contribution to the promotion of science in Canada through activities that encourage popular interest in science or develop science abilities.

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

Backgrounder

NSERC Awards for Science Promotion – Individual Award

The NSERC Awards for Science Promotion honour individuals and groups who make an outstanding contribution to the promotion of science in Canada through activities encouraging popular interest in science or developing science abilities. Each individual award is valued at $10,000.

Background on the 2010 winner:

Geoff Rayner-Canham, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Geoff Rayner-Canham has been teaching science at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College—Memorial University of Newfoundland's campus in Corner Brook—since the college was founded in 1975. His enthusiasm for science (chemistry in particular) brought him to visit local schools, starting in 1978, to perform chemical demonstrations. Attired in his colourful tie-dyed lab coat, Dr. Rayner-Canham avoids the traditional "bangs and flashes" demonstrations and instead focuses on the chemistry of everyday materials, including diapers, cosmetics and polymers. Travelling by plane, boat, helicopter, van, ferry and snowmobile, Dr. Rayner-Canham has visited over 50 communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Nunavut. His efforts to promote an interest in, and understanding of, chemistry in our everyday lives have taken him on a journey of almost 26,000 kilometres.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Steve Outhouse
    Director of Communications
    613-943-7602
    or
    Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
    Martin Leroux
    Media Relations Officer
    613-943-7618
    media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502