The 2018 Sandford Fleming Medal

The Royal Canadian Institute for Science awards the 2018 Fleming Medal to Dr. John Smol of Queen’s University. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the public understanding of science by a Canadian.  

Since 1982, the RCIScience Fleming Medal has recognized Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the public understanding of science. The medal is named for the co-founder of RCIScience, Sir Sandford Fleming. Past winners include Ursula Franklin, Bob McDonald, David Schindler and Chris Hadfield and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. John Polanyi.

For over thirty years, Dr. Smol has made outstanding contributions not only to teaching and research, but also to the public understanding of science. While maintaining a large international presence in research, Dr. Smol also works equally hard to reach out to the public to explain this research and its impacts. For example, working locally, by speaking at City Hall in Kingston to contribute to the City’s climate action plan, to judging science fairs and providing workshops to mentor young scientists.

Dr. Brian Cumming of Queen’s University described Dr. Smol as exemplifying, “the scientist whose work is not done until its lessons are broadcast not only to academics and students but to decision makers and the general public all whom should be aware of the critically important changes in the world’s environment.”  

RCIScience recognizes Dr. Smol’s outstanding contribution to the public understanding of science in Canada, and engaging the public with science. According to RCIScience Board Chair, Dr. Reinhart Reithmeier, “Dr. Smol’s work directly advances the vision of the Royal Canadian Institute for Science. We are delighted to recognize it with this unique award.”

The Royal Canadian Institute for Science (RCIScience) is a platform for public engagement with leading scientists, featuring free live lectures and panel discussions and an extensive online archive. Founded in 1849, RCIS is among the oldest societies of any kind in Canada. For 169 years, we have worked towards the goal of an informed public that embraces science to build a stronger Canada.

Interested in hearing more from Dr. Smol? You’re invited to attend the Sandford Fleming Medal ceremony and hear from John himself on December 4. Find out more and reserve your spot now.