Twelve McGill scholars inducted into Royal Society of Canada

The Royal Society of Canada announced twelve McGill inductees in 2019 including three new members to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, and nine new Fellows
New Fellows to the Royal Society of Canada include (top, l to r), Robyn Tamblyn, Michael Pollak, Thomas Schlich, John Rea; (2nd row, l to r) Hank Knox, Juliet Johnson, Vikram Bhatt, Jeffrey Mogil, and René Provost (3rd row left). The newest members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists include (3rd row, l to r) Marta Cerruti, Brett Thombs and Jessica Coon

The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) announced today the induction of 93 new Fellows, nine of whom are McGill researchers and scholars. The RSC also announced 46 new members to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, including three McGill scholars. This year’s inductees represent McGill’s excellence from urban sustainability to cancer prevention, while also exemplifying the interdisciplinary approaches fostered by the RSC.

“McGill is proud of the 12 exceptional scholars selected by their peers for membership in the Royal Society of Canada,” said Martha Crago, Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation. “These well-deserved honours highlight the remarkable caliber and expertise of McGill researchers. Congratulations to the 2019 cohort!”

Asking unexpected, and sometimes uncomfortable, questions

René Provost, Full Professor at the Faculty of Law, will be inducted into the RSC as a Fellow. Prof. Provost conducts research in public international law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, legal theory and legal anthropology. His research aims to explore the possibility of convincing armed, non-state groups to apply justice by respecting minimum standards of international humanitarian law in conflict zones.

“The RSC fellowship signals the fundamental role of academic research that asks unexpected and sometimes uncomfortable questions like, can groups like ISIS or the Taliban be said to administer justice in any meaningful ways?,” said Prof. Provost. “Such questions are academic not in the sense that they are detached from real-world concerns but, to the opposite, that they focus on facets of life that would otherwise remained unexamined.”

Among those honoured is Jessica Coon, Associate Professor at the Department of Linguistics, who will be inducted into the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Prof. Coon’s research focuses on variation across human languages, specifically in syntax (sentence structure) and morphology (word structure). She primarily studies Indigenous languages of the Americas, which differ in important ways from more commonly studied languages like English and French. Her work incorporates findings from these languages into linguistic theory, and through collaboration with Indigenous communities, she has worked to contribute to language documentation and revitalization initiatives.

“I am absolutely honoured to join the RSC College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists, and grateful for all the support McGill has provided me along the way,” said Prof. Coon. “I hope to use this position to continue to advocate for the importance of linguistic diversity, and the urgent need to support Indigenous communities working to reclaim and revitalize their languages.”

Over 2,000 Fellows since 1883

The new cohorts of Fellows and Members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists will be formally inducted into the RSC on November 22, in Ottawa.

Established in 1883, the RSC consists of over 2,000 Fellows who have been selected by their peers for outstanding contributions to the natural and social sciences, arts and humanities. As a complement to the Fellowship, the RSC established the College of New Scholars, Scientist and Artists in 2014. The College recognizes individuals who have begun demonstrating leading scholarly, research or artistic excellence within 15 years of having completed their post-doctoral program or its equivalent. Fifty-one Canadian universities and the National Research Council nominate members to the College, which is the first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for Canadian intellectual leadership. There are currently more than 280 members in the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

McGill’s 2019 Royal Society of Canada Fellows:

  • Vikram Bhatt, Professor, Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering.
  • Juliet Johnson, Professor, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts.
  • Hank Knox, Associate Professor, Department of Performance, Schulich School of Music.
  • Jeffrey Mogil, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science.
  • Michael Pollak, Professor, Departments of Medicine and Oncology, Faculty of Medicine.
  • René Provost, Full Professor, Faculty of Law.
  • John Rea, Professor, Department of Music Research, Schulich School of Music.
  • Thomas Schlich, James McGill Professor, Department of Social Studies of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine.
  • Robyn Tamblyn, James McGill Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine.

McGill’s 2019 Royal Society of Canada Members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists:

  • Marta Cerruti – Associate Professor, Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering.
  • Jessica Coon – Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Arts.
  • Brett D. Thombs – Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science.

Read the RSC press release

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