Presentation of the Killam Prizes
Rideau Hall, Tuesday, May 3, 2016
“The more thou searchest, the more thou shalt marvel.”
Those timeless words are chiselled over the entrance to the National Research Council building not far from here on Sussex Drive.
And I know our Killam Prize recipients this evening will identify with those words.
The more you search, the more you marvel at what you find—as do we all.
What have you been searching for, and what have you found?
You’ve made ground-breaking discoveries in the natural sciences, the humanities, engineering and the health and social sciences.
You’ve developed new ways of understanding and tackling important challenges.
You’ve brought to light new marvels in the arts and sciences.
Your work is significant not only to Canadians, but to people around the world!
Tonight, we honour your achievements with the Killam Prizes, and we encourage you:
Who knows how far your curiosity and your creativity will take us?
For decades, the Killam Prizes have been celebrating and supporting the work of our top scholars.
In fact, you may have heard of one of your fellow Killam laureates winning big on the international stage last year: Dr. Arthur McDonald, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, who won a Killam Prize in 2010.
Which goes to show: if you want to win a Nobel, try winning a Killam first!
In fact, it’s been a very good year for Canadian research. In 2015, no fewer than 24 Canadians won prestigious international awards and prizes in science, engineering, health, medicine, the social sciences and humanities. That’s up from 11 awards in our baseline year of 2012!
Each of the current Killam Prize winners has had a very good year as well.
You’re known around the world for your contributions to your respective fields.
And as you know, the cost and complexity of so much contemporary research means we must collaborate and engage globally.
Of course we’re doing this, but many avenues for improvement exist, and we can do more to promote our best on the world stage.
That’s why we’ve been working with Canada’s granting councils and other research and innovation partners on the Global Excellence Initiative, which aims to ensure your work and that of your research colleagues is nominated for the top international awards and prizes.
Because one thing we’re most assuredly not lacking in this country is world-class research and innovation.
You’re among the best in Canada, which means your work is among the best in the world.
Thank you for your hard work and your dedication to excellence.
And congratulations to each of you on this well-deserved honour.