Royal recognition: Two Dal researchers honoured with prestigious awards from Royal Society of Canada

- September 17, 2019

Ford Doolittle, left, and Jeff Dahn are the latest Dal recipients of Royal Society of Canada awards. (Provided photo; Danny Abriel photo)
Ford Doolittle, left, and Jeff Dahn are the latest Dal recipients of Royal Society of Canada awards. (Provided photo; Danny Abriel photo)

Two world-renowned researchers from Dalhousie have been honoured by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) for their outstanding achievements.

Jeff Dahn, a Professor in the Faculty of Science, has received the 2019 Henry Marshall Tory Medal. Established in 1941, this medal is awarded for outstanding research in a branch of astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, physics or an allied science.

Dr. Dahn is a world leader in energy storage technologies. He has made important discoveries of new electrode materials and electrolyte components which have incorporated in lithium-ion batteries. His recent work, concentrating on increasing the energy density, improving the lifetime and lowering the cost of lithium-ion batteries, led to the development of high-precision coulometry – enabling the decades-long span of modern Li-ion cells to be ranked in several weeks.

Read more: Supercharged success: Battery Research Jeff Dah wins Herzberg Gold Medal

Dr. Ford Doolittle, Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Medicine, has received the 2019 McLaughlin Medal. Established in 1978, this medal is awarded for important research of sustained excellence in any branch of medical sciences.

Dr. Doolittle is internationally celebrated for his field-shifting contributions to comparative genomics, considered foundational to biomedical research. He has regularly bold and sometimes controversial hypotheses that have served to stimulate deep conversations and debates. Not only has he changed how we look at the world, his ideas are widely accepted as core tenets in how we understand and study the very building blocks of life.

"I'm both delighted and surprised to receive this award, since my research had always been of the most fundamental kind, having meaning (when it does) to biomedical science as a branch of biological science,” says Dr. Doolittle. “But microbiology is indeed a broad discipline, and we are increasingly aware that microbes play many complex roles in human development and health, processes I have studied that do affect us all."

Read more: Challenging Convention – Evolutionary Biologist Ford Doolittle wins Killam Prize

This is the first time ever researchers from Dalhousie has received these medals. Dr. Dahn and Dr. Doolittle will receive their awards in November, during the RSC Celebration of Excellence and Engagement, which will be hosted by the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and the National Research Council of Canada.

“We are extremely proud of Dr. Dahn and Dr. Doolittle on receiving this well-deserved recognition from the Royal Society of Canada,” says Dr. Alice Aiken, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Dalhousie University. “Their research is profound and wide-ranging, and has fundamentally changed the way the world looks at both energy storage and evolutionary biology.”

Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada comprises established leaders across the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences as well as emerging leaders in the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. The objective of the RSC is to serve Canada and the world by recognizing Canada’s leading scientists, scholars, and artists and mobilizing them in an open discussion to advance knowledge and understanding of critical issues with a view toward contributing to a better future.

Visit the Royal Society of Canada for more information.


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