Canada’s most prestigious body of scholars and scientists has recognized two Simon Fraser University professors as the sole BC recipients of two of the 12 special awards it presents every two years, or as merited.
The Royal Society of Canada has awarded SFU English professor Sandra Djwa with its biennial Lorne Pierce Medal, given for outstanding achievement in critical or imaginative literature. Earth sciences professor John Clague has received the society’s biennial Bancroft Award, which includes a $2,500 cash prize, for exceptional instruction and research in the science of geology.
The society praised Djwa as "one of the pioneers of biography in Canada," calling her biography of Roy Daniells, professor of english at UBC, a high point in her extremely distinguished career as a Canadian biographer, cultural critic, and literary historian. Previous medal winners include Alice Munro, Roberston Davies and Northrop Frye.
The group commended Clague as "probably Canada's outstanding Quaternary geologist/geomorphologist," applauding the renowned earthquake expert for improving public and government awareness of natural hazards, and for sharing his knowledge through presentations to students, teachers, service clubs, professional groups and others.
Djwa called her medal "a great honour, as Lorne Pierce is one of my cultural heroes. Also, it’s the first time this award has come west to a scholar since 1970, when it went to Roy Daniells, and as far as I can determine I am the first woman scholar to receive it."
Clague said he was delighted to receive the Bancroft Award, adding "it’s an honour to be associated with Canadian scientists of the stature of past award recipients J. Tuzo Wilson, William Hutchison, and Ward Neale."
Djwa and Clague were both previously elected to fellowship in the 120-year-old society, which is considered the country’s highest academic accolade available to scientists and scholars.
Kathryn Aberle, Media & PR, 604.291.3210, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Djwa, 604.291.5436; John Clague, 604.291.4924