Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

June 30, 2005 14:04 ET

PIPSC: Dr. Derek Muir Receives Gold Medal for Work on Impact of Long Range Atmospheric Transport of Pesticides to Remote Locations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 30, 2005) - The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is proud indeed to have presented its 2005 Gold Medal Award to Dr. Derek Muir, Project Chief and Research Scientist, Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Branch at the National Water Research Institute in Burlington.

This award serves to underline the work of all scientists who, like Dr. Muir, are passionately dedicated to research that, clearly, is key to the well-being of all Canadians.

Dr. Muir was awarded this year's Gold Medal especially for the work he has done that impacts the Arctic North. While his identification of the potential of long range atmospheric transport of pesticides to remote locations has been of particular benefit to Canada, it is applicable around the globe 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. It is for this, that Dr. Muir is singled out as a role model for Canadian scientists in making national and global contributions -a lifetime of work that we would all do well to emulate.

In its summary of why it recommended Dr. Muir for the Gold Medal, the three-judge panel stated,

"There are few individuals who, at the scientific level, have a lifetime achievement that is equal to this candidate whose work has centred about the methods of detection, an understanding of environmental partitioning, and the environmental impact of organic pollutants. He is highly cited and widely regarded.

"Dr. Muir stands 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 agrees with Dr. Muir who is quick to point out that his work is but one example of a long list of impressive achievements by Canadian scientists, not only at the National Water Research Institute but across our great nation, as they monitor the various negative influences on our health, welfare and safety.

It is for this reason that, faced with ongoing cutbacks to science research and development at the federal government level, we will continue to press for increased funding so that our scientists can do their important work in a climate in which fruitful research can take place.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the largest multi-profession union in Canada, represents some 50,000 members, 17,000 of whom are scientists.

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