October 16, 2008 19:30 ET

SSHRC: Canada's Top Social Sciences and Humanities Researchers Receive Honours

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2008) - Canada's top social sciences and humanities researchers were recognized tonight at Sagacitas-the sixth annual awards ceremony of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The prizes awarded are among the Canadian research community's highest honours.

"This evening we honour exceptional individuals for their contributions to research and to Canada's prosperity, diversity and quality of life," said Chad Gaffield, president of SSHRC. "For the past 30 years, SSHRC has invested in world-class scholarship at universities and colleges across the country. Tonight's winners are superb examples of the impact this research has had on society, and its importance to Canada's future success."

This year's SSHRC Gold Medal for Achievement in Research was awarded to Ian Hacking, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. The Gold Medal recognizes Hacking's career as one of the world's most influential thinkers on the history and philosophy of science. Hacking is described by his colleagues as a "national treasure" and "...quite possibly the most interesting philosopher writing today."

Hacking's impressive body of research has examined a range of topics, including multiple personality disorder, experimental physics and the emergence of probability in western society. He is in demand as a speaker on topics ranging from adult education to biotechnology. The quality of his work transcends boundaries and inspires new research in fields as different as autism and entrepreneurship.

"When my first book on statistical inference came out I was an unknown," said Hacking. "Within weeks I got letters from professional statisticians who were delighted a philosopher was thinking about their work. I still have a file of these amazing letters. That experience gave me the courage in later years to enter fields I knew very little about, and very confidently go to the best people and talk to them."

Hacking has received numerous national and international academic awards, including the Killam Prize in 2002 and the Molson Prize in 2000. He is a companion of the Order of Canada, and a celebrated fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 2001 to 2006, he held one of the world's most prestigious professorships, serving as a professor at the College de France-the first anglophone ever to receive this honour.

Anthony Glinoer was this year's winner of the SSHRC Aurora Prize, which awards $25,000 to an outstanding new researcher building a reputation for exciting and original research in the social sciences and humanities. Glinoer, assistant professor of French literature at the University of Toronto, specializes in the French Romantic Period. His research focuses on the collective nature of cultural production, and the myth of the isolated creative genius.

Sarah L. Desmarais of the University of British Columbia received the $10,000 SSHRC Postdoctoral Prize for research aimed at improving the health of pregnant women and their newborn children. Drawing on her doctoral training in forensic psychology, Desmarais has designed and is launching an intervention program for pregnant women at risk of domestic violence.

Katherine Madjidi received the William E. Taylor Fellowship, a $5,000 prize given each year to the student with the most highly-rated SSHRC PhD proposal. Madjidi hopes her doctoral work in comparative, international and development education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education will provide a deeper understanding of the role that civil-society groups play in affecting global change and will help empower indigenous groups on the international stage.

All the winners were selected by a rigorous peer-review process, and prize funds will be directed to research activities.

Last year SSHRC funded research by over 6,000 faculty members, and directly supported nearly 4,000 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

For a complete list of award recipients, please visit the SSHRC website

SSHRC is an independent federal government agency that funds university-based research and graduate training through national peer-review competitions. SSHRC also partners with public and private sector organizations to focus research and aid the development of better policies and practices in key areas of Canada's social, cultural and economic life.

Ce document est egalement disponible en francais.

Contact Information