Outstanding achievement

- March 29, 2006

Dr. Susan Sherwin (Abriel photo)
Dr. Susan Sherwin is among five national researchers to be honoured with the 2006 Killam Prize, Canada's most distinguished annual awards for outstanding career achievements in engineering, natural sciences, humanities, social sciences and health sciences.

The $100,000 awards were announced today by the Canada Council for the Arts, which administers the Killam program.

Dr. Sherwin is an internationally-acclaimed scholar in the field of feminist bioethics - the relationship between gender and ethics in medicine and health care. She is currently a Professor of Philosophy and Gender and Women's Studies at Dalhousie University and also teaches in the university's Department of Bioethics. Although Dr. Sherwin's graduate training began in the logic and philosophy of mathematics, it quickly evolved into health care ethics and feminist philosophy. In the mid-1980s, she combined these two areas of research to consider the implications of a distinctively feminist approach to bioethics.

A new perspective

In 1992, she published No Longer Patient: Feminist Ethics and Health Care, the first book to deal specifically with feminism and health care ethics. She was coordinator of the Feminist Health Care Ethics Research Network and has served on various advisory boards at both the national and international levels, including Heath Canada's Advisory Committee on Reproductive and Genetic Technologies. In 2000, Dr. Sherwin was awarded the Sarah Shorten Award for her contributions to the status of women in Canadian universities and in 2004 was named Distinguished Women Philosopher of the Year by the Society for Women in Philosophy in the United States. Dr. Sherwin holds a BA from York University and a PhD from Stanford University.

The Killam legacy

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Killam Prizes, which were inaugurated in 1981 and financed financed through funds donated to the Canada Council by Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam in memory of her husband, Izaak Walton Killam.  The Prizes were created to honour eminent Canadian scholars and scientists actively engaged in research, whether in industry, government agencies or universities. When the Canada Council was created in 1957, its mandate was to support both the arts and scholarly research; although this changed with the creation of separate research councils, the Canada Council retained responsibility for the Killam program. The Killam Fund at the Canada Council was valued at approximately $58 million as of March 31, 2005. The Killam Trusts, which fund scholarship and research at four Canadian universities, a research institute and the Canada Council, are valued at approximately $400 million.

"Izaak Walton Killam, a pre-eminent 20th Century Canadian financier, and his wife, Dorothy Johnston Killam, devoted their fortune to building Canada's future by encouraging advanced study.  Their goal was to increase the scientific and scholastic attainments of Canadians, expand the work of Canadian universities, and promote sympathetic understanding between Canadians and the people of other countries," said George Cooper, Managing Trustee of the Killam Trusts. "Killam Prize winners are Canada's finest scholars in their fields.  They give life to the Killams' noble vision. Congratulations!"

The Canada Council will present all the national Killam Prizes at a dinner and ceremony on Thursday, April 27 at the University Club.


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