The 2016 Killam Prize
They are considered academic Titans. Their research challenges conventions and creates new ways of thinking. Once a year, the Governor General of Canada awards five scholars with the Canada Council Killam Prize, recognizing their outstanding contributions to their fields. Host Paul Kennedy learns about their work.**This episode originally aired May 20, 2016.
"The more you search, the more you marvel, and I know those Killam Prize recipients will identify with those words" -- Governor General David Johnston
The Canada Council Killam Prize has been dubbed Canada's Nobel. Killam Prize winners are renowned for pushing the boundaries of their fields.
The 2016 Killam Prize winners:
"You want to make a difference somehow -- that's what drives me."
-- Elizabeth Edwards, Killam Prize for Engineering
Professor Elizabeth Edwards -- Killam Prize for Engineering
Professor Edwards is the Canada Research Chair in Anaerobic Biotechnology. She's also the director of BioZone - Centre for Applied Bioscience and Bioengineering at the University of Toronto, and the principal investigator at the Biodegraders Research Group.
"The big problem [especially in the U.S.] is the rise of social inequality and a sense that the existing political parties are no longer credible."
-- Daniel Trefler, Killam Prize for Social Sciences
Professor Daniel Trefler -- Killam Prize for Social Sciences
Professor Trefler is the Canada Research Chair in Competitiveness and Prosperity at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He's also a research fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Studies (CIFAR) and the C.D. Howe Institute. While his primary interest is in international trade policy, he is currently researching the social and economic history of Medieval Venice and looking for lessons that can be applied today.
"I've always thought of myself as a creative artist. My approach to science is to seek out simplicity."
-- Axel Becke, Killam Prize for Natural Sciences
Professor Axel Becke -- Killam Prize for Natural Sciences
Professor Axel Becke is professor emeritus in the Department of Chemistry, Dalhousie University. He held the Killam Chair in Computational Science from 2006 until 2015 and, among many honours, was the recipient of the 2015 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering. He takes an intuitive approach to theoretical chemistry. In 2014, the British scientific journal Nature ranked two of Becke's papers as the 8th and 25th most cited papers of all time, in all the sciences.
"Quebec is a place where things change very slowly and never quite profoundly."
-- Isabelle Donais, Killam Prize for Humanities
Professor Isabelle Daunais -- Killam Prize for Humanities
Professor Isabelle Daunais is the Canada Research Chair in the Aesthetics and Art of the Novel. She's a professor at McGill University's Département de langue et littérature françaises. Her 2015 book Le Roman Sans Aventure takes a thorough look at the plight of the Quebecois novel.
"We have to spend a lot of time now asking fundamental questions."
-- Dr. Steven Narod, Killam Prize for Health Sciences
Dr. Steven Narod -- Killam Prize for Health Sciences
Dr. Steven Narod is one of the world's foremost breast cancer researchers with over 700 publications to date. He is based at Women's College Hospital at the University of Toronto where he is the Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer. He's a professor with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. His work has critically examined assessment of risk for women with breast and ovarian cancers. He has also researched cancer genetics, cancer prevention and treatment.