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Media Release

October 21, 2010 For immediate release

Outstanding Canadian Innovators and Scientists Inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame

Four remarkable scientists join the 44 forty-four scientists and innovators who have been inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees are Dr. George C. Laurence (1905-1987), Dr. Henry Norman Bethune (1890-1939), and the team of Dr. James Till (1931- ) and Dr. Ernest McCulloch (1926- ).

"Dr. McCulloch and I deeply appreciate this great honour," said Dr. James Till.

The Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame honours individuals whose outstanding scientific or technological achievements have made a significant contribution to Canadian society.

“Since its creation in 1991, the Hall of Fame has been known for the high calibre of its membership, and has served as a reminder to all young Canadians of the possibility of conducting exceptional scientific and engineering research in this country,” said Denise Amyot, President and CEO of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation. “The achievements of these individuals have been so remarkable, and their contribution to society so great, the Museum wants all Canadians to be aware of their accomplishments.”

An induction ceremony will be held during National Science and Technology Week, which began on 15 October. The week celebrates Canada’s science and technology heritage, the importance of science and technology in today’s world, and Canada’s ongoing role as a world leader in innovation.

Sharing Canada’s rich collections of objects related to transportation, natural resources, communications, space, energy, manufacturing and industry, the Canada Science and Technology Museum helps Canadians explore the rich connections between science, technology, and culture.

Contacts

Christina Lucas
Canada Science and Technology Museum
613-447-7631
clucas@technomuses.ca

Please see below for information on each of the 2010 Hall of Fame inductees.

Dr. James Till (1931- ) and Ernest McCulloch (1926- )

Till and McCulloch, known as the “fathers of stem cell research,” proved the existence of stem cells and characterized them. They first published their research in 1961, and went on to define the two key properties of stem cells – that they have the capacity for self-renewal, and that they can differentiate into more specialized cells. This significantly altered our understanding of cell biology, and made an exceptional contribution to medical research, particularly to the field of cancer research.

Dr. George C. Laurence (1905-1987)

Laurence was a key figure in the development of Canada’s nuclear industry. He spent his career studying nuclear physics, and developing techniques both to harness nuclear power and to ensure safety standards. Born in Charlottetown in 1905, Laurence studied and worked with Ernest Rutherford in the late 1920s. As Chair of the Reactor Safety Advisory Committee, and subsequently as President of the Atomic Energy Control Board, Laurence’s work was fundamental in setting the procedures and practices for safety control at nuclear power plants.

Dr. Henry Norman Bethune (1890-1939)

Bethune was a surgeon and a medical innovator who advocated for improved public health in Canada and abroad. Bethune began his career as a general physician and surgeon in Montreal, specializing in the treatment of tuberculosis. While in Montreal, he established a free medical clinic for the unemployed, formed a group that lobbied for socialized medicine, and joined the Communist Party.While volunteering in the Spanish Civil War, Bethune developed a mobile blood transfusion service which saved the lives of hundreds of wounded soldiers. Bethune is perhaps best known for his medical work in China where he was a battlefield surgeon during the Second Sino-Japanese War.