Guelph honours women in STEM with downtown banners

Banners along Carden Street in Guelph's downtown highlight the work being done by women in science, technology, engineering and math. It includes Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland, who was born and raised in the city.
Nobel prize winning University of Waterloo professor Donna Strickland is featured on one of the banners. Strickland was born and raised in Guelph and attended Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

New banners on some downtown Guelph streetlights are honouring the work of women in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math.

The Downtown Guelph Business Association says the project was inspired by Donna Strickland, the University of Waterloo professor who was one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018. Strickland was born and raised in Guelph.

Dr. Jennie Trout was the first women to become a licensed physician in Canada. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The project was co-curated by local historian Tony Berto and University of Toronto Mississauga biology professor Fiona Rawle.

There are 30 women on the banners and each highlights large, and often unacknowledged, contributions by women in STEM fields, said the Downtown Guelph Business Association in a release.

Dr. Memory Elvin-Lewis is featured on this banner, with the top of Basilica of Our Lady seen in the background. She's a world authority on the use of plants for promoting oral health, says Washington University, where she's a professor emeritus of biology. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

"The project acknowledges a number of women — one still in high school — who are making remarkable contributions," the release said. 

"We also wanted to honour the potential of women that were unable to contribute to the sciences due to bigotry and hostility; thus, this project also reflects on the female engineering students from École Polytechnique and the careers and contributions they could have made to our world."

The banners line Carden Street in downtown Guelph. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The banners line Carden Street, which is where city hall and the downtown splash pad are located, as well as several stores and restaurants.

They will be on display until October.

This banner features Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a atmospheric scientist and political science professor at Texas Tech University, where she is also director of the Climate Science Center. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)


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