Friday May 30, 2014

Presenting the Killam Winners


2014 Killam Trust Prize-winners. From L-R, Sajeev John, Andreas Mendalis, J.R. Miller, Dr. Frank Plummer, D.R. Fraser Taylor

Every year the Governor General hosts a gala to celebrate the recipients of the Canada Council Killam Prize. Five prizes for five individuals who have contributed significantly to their field of study. Each individual receives $100,000. In this episode of IDEAS, Paul Kennedy interviews all five prize winners - all of whom are mavericks in their field.

Guests in order of appearance:

Killam1-frank-plummer.jpg Dr. Frank Plummer - Canada Council Killam Prize for Health Sciences. This is one of Dr. Plummer's most cherished photos from his 17 years in Kenya. He is posing with his friend Jennifer, who was 16 when she was diagnosed with HIV. She now has three healthy children who are free of the disease. Dr. Plummer is a pioneer in HIV/AIDS research. Many of his breakthroughs led to major public health policies that have curbed the spread of the disease. He also continues his research into an HIV vaccine. Dr. Plummer ran the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg since 2001. He was also the chief scientific officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and continues to be a distinguished professor at the University of Manitoba.

Killam2-Sajeev-John.jpg Sajeev John - Canada Council Killam Prize for Natural Sciences. This photo was taken at Princeton University, around the time he had his 'eureka' moment. Professor John is a pioneering theoretician in photonic band gap materials. His work on trapping light is leading to innovations in solar power, information processing as well as diagnostic instruments. He is a professor of physics at the University of Toronto and has held the Canada Research Chair in Optical Sciences since 2000.

Killam3-Andreas.jpg Andreas Mandelis - Canada Council Killam Prize for Engineering. He is pictured here setting up his lab at the University of Toronto in 1982. His is a pioneer in the field of diffusion wave and photoacoustic science. His lab's enthusiastic motto is "to go where no light has gone before!" and his research has lead to non-invasive biomedical and dental technologies, as well as means to detect structural faults in industrial materials. He is the Canada Research Chair in Diffusion-Wave Sciences and Technologies at the University of Toronto.

View a slideshow Professor Mandelis created to help further explain his research and applications at the bottom of the page.

Killam4-Fraser-taylor.jpg D.R. Fraser Taylor - Canada Council Killam Prize for Social Sciences. He is pictured here in a cricket match that pitted the world cartographic team against the British Ordnance Survey team. His motto is "I map, therefore I am." As a 'cybercartographist', he developed tools which he hopes will democratize mapmaking, bringing new dimensions into mapping such as, sound, storytelling, smell, emotion and even dance. He is the director of the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre at Carleton University.

Killam5-Jim-Miller.jpg J.R. (Jim) Miller - Canada Council Killam Prize for Humanities. His rigorous documentation and research into the history of relations between Canada's aboriginal population and Canada's newcomers provides an important tool for helping us understand a chapter in Canadian history many have ignored. His work on the Canadian residential school system, federal government policies and Christian churches informed national discussions and public policy related to residential schools and treaty rights. Professor Miller is the Canada Research Chair in Native-Newcomer Relations and will be retiring from the department of history at the University of Saskatchewan at the end of June.
(photo credit Liam Richards U of S Research Communications)

Professor Mandelis' slideshow which further explains his research and applications.