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November 21, 2012

Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame welcomes three newest members

OTTAWA, November 21, 2012 – This year's inductees into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame performed pioneering work in the fields of physics, neurosciences, and aviation, and their outstanding contributions have made Canadian history.

At the annual induction ceremony held at the Canada Science and Technology Museum (CSTM) today, John A. D. McCurdy, Dr Brenda Milner, and Dr Ursula Franklin joined the select ranks of the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame.

J.A.D. McCurdy made early aviation history when he flew the first Canadian-designed aircraft that ever flew, the Silver Dart, which he lifted off the ice of Bras d'Or Lake in Nova Scotia in 1909. He became the first Canadian to be issued a pilot's license in 1910.

Beginning in 1950, Dr Milner worked at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University with another Hall-of-Famer, Dr Wilder Penfield, with whom she published landmark papers in neurosciences in the late 1950s.

Dr Ursula Martius Franklin taught and researched extensively in the field of materials science, and on the social impact of technology. In 1967, she became the first woman to teach Metallurgy and Materials Science at the University of Toronto, and in 1984, she became the first woman appointed University Professor, the University of Toronto's highest rank.

These new inductees now bring the total membership of the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame members to 54. Since its inception in 1991, the Hall of Fame has been noted for the high calibre of its membership. It is intended to serve as a source of inspiration to all Canadians, as an example of the great potential for scientific and technical achievement in this country.

"Once again, this year's inductees into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame perfectly illustrates the reality that the achievements of Canada's scientific community can rival with the best on the world stage," said CSTMC CEO Denise Amyot. "It also says something remarkable about Canadian society that two of this year's three inductees are living women. There can be no better proof that producing tomorrow's scientific and technical breakthroughs is a challenge that rests on with all Canadians."

BACKGROUNDER

The Hon. J. A. D. McCurdy

Mechanical Engineer
Born 1886, Baddeck Nova Scotia

J.A.D. McCurdy was only 16 years old when he began attending the University of Toronto's School of Mechanical Engineering, the youngest student to be admitted. Aged only 20 years old, he completed his engineering degree, and in 1907 he helped form the Aerial Experiment Association.

On February 23, 1909, McCurdy became the first British subject to fly an aircraft in the British Empire when he piloted the AEA's Silver Dart off the ice of Lake Bras d'Or in Nova Scotia. The Silver Dart was the first Canadian-designed aircraft to fly. In 1910, he was the first Canadian issued a pilot's license, and the following year he made the first flight from Florida to Cuba. He continued to pioneer Canadian aviation until his death in 1961.

BACKGROUNDER

Dr Brenda Milner

Neuroscience
Born 1918, United Kingdom
Emigrated to Canada in 1944

Milner obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Cambridge in 1939, and her Ph. D. under Dr Donald Hebb at McGill University in 1952. She joined Dr Wilder Penfield at the Montreal Neurological Institute in 1950, and published landmark papers with Dr Penfield and Dr William Beecher Scoville in 1957 and 1958. She is the Dorothy J. Killam Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University

Dr Milner was a pioneer in the field of neuropsychology and in the study of memory and other cognitive functions in humans. She is a devoted and inspiring teacher, and well-known to neuroscience, psychology, and medicine students and researchers.

BACKGROUNDER

Dr Ursula Martius Franklin

Experimental Physics, Crystallography, Solid state properties, History of Science, Women in Science
Born 1921, Munich, Germany
Emigrated to Canada in 1949

Franklin obtained her Ph. D. in experimental physics from Technical University in Berlin. Emigrating to Canada in 1949 as a post-doctoral fellow, she subsequently joined the Ontario Research Foundation as Senior Scientist.

In the 1960s Dr Franklin, a committed feminist and peace advocate, worked with community women's groups to collect baby teeth of children in Canada. The strontium-90 accumulation in them drew public attention to the long-term effects of nuclear weapons testing, leading to a subsequent ban on atmospheric nuclear weapons testing.

In 1967, she became the first woman professor of Metallurgy and Materials Science at the University of Toronto, and in 1984 she was the first woman to be appointed University Professor, the University of Toronto's highest rank. Now retired from the University of Toronto since 1989, she continues to work as Senior Resident and Fellow of Massey College, and is an active public speaker on the effects of technology on society, a topic she addressed in her book The Real World Technology (1989).

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INFORMATION :

Kelly Ray
Marketing & Communications
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