From/de John Percy
(Cassiopeia – Summer/été 2016)
I’m pleased to report that astronomer Ivan Semeniuk is the 2016 recipient of the Sandford Fleming Medal and Citation, awarded since 1982 by the Royal Canadian Institute for Science (RCIS). RCIS is Canada’s oldest scientific society. For 167 years, it has worked towards the goal of an informed public that embraces science to build a stronger Canada. Ivan Semeniuk has contributed significantly to that goal in ways which are remarkable for their quality, quantity, and variety.
Ivan received his BSc in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Toronto, and his MS in Science Journalism from Boston University. He was an instructor/researcher at the Ontario Science Centre from 1986 to 1999 (and a go-to person for print and electronic media interviews), a columnist and summer host and producer at Discovery Channel Canada from 1995 to 2005, a bureau chief for New Scientist and subsequently a chief of correspondents for Nature. He created numerous TV, radio, and print works on a freelance basis including the 30-episode TV series Cosmic Vistas. In 2013, he joined the Globe and Mail (“Canada’s national newspaper”) as science reporter. In the words of Globe and Mail editor-in-chief David Walmsley, “In Ivan Semeniuk, the Globe and Mail has a world-class science correspondent who travels the world and outer space with his pen and his mind. His clarity of writing across a broad range of scientific topics from biology, to astronomy, to chemistry creates an accessable understanding of our planet and our galaxy”. His many fellowships and awards include a Gemini nomination, and two other film awards.
Ivan was Science Journalist-in-Residence at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics from 2008 to 2010. He continues to give short courses and workshops, for science graduate students, in science communication and journalism, and invited lectures to groups such as CASCA, as well as to the public. In this way, he is helping to produce the next generation of science communicators in Canada, as well as to promote science literacy himself.
The Sandford Fleming Medal and Citation is named for RCIS co-founder Sir Sandford Fleming, engineer, surveyor, and successful proponent of Standard Time. It will be presented at a special ceremony in November.