Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

February 25, 2008 14:00 ET

NSERC: John Acorn, the "Nature Nut" Honoured for Achievements in Science Promotion

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 25, 2008) - Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), is pleased to honour John Acorn as the recipient of NSERC's Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion. A biology instructor at the University of Alberta, he is famous as the "Nature Nut" to a generation of children and their parents.

Acorn is well known for his sense of adventure, enthusiasm and special brand of humour as he makes science, and the study of insects in particular, fun for all ages.

His popularity and profile was established as host of Acorn The Nature Nut, a television series that ran for 92 episodes over seven seasons. Widely used by teachers across Canada and internationally, the series was aired on a variety of media outlets, including the Discovery Channel, CTV, TV Ontario, the Public Broadcasting System in the United States (U.S.), the Learning Channel in the United Kingdom, and Animal Planet.

Acorn also writes and hosts an Alberta radio series called Deep Alberta that is sponsored by the Royal Tyrell Museum and describes the fossil history hidden in the province's bedrock. As well, he has been an invited keynote speaker at more than 60 festivals, workshops and conventions across Canada and the U.S.

"Mr. Acorn's passion for science and love of nature has encouraged families to go out into nature and discover the exciting hidden world of insects that can be found all around us," said Dr. Fortier. "He is a very worthy recipient of this award, and captures brilliantly the spirit of scientific discovery and enthusiasm that Michael Smith brought to his work, both as a researcher and as a promoter of science with the public."

NSERC's Michael Smith Awards for Science Promotion, named after the late Canadian Nobel laureate, are presented annually to honour individuals and groups who make an outstanding contribution to the promotion of science in Canada. Individual awards include a medal and $5,000. The award for the group category will be announced later this year.

NSERC is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency support some 25,000 university students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 11,000 university professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in university research projects.

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