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Royal Society of Canada holds AGM in Banff

Allan Bell and the Calgary's String Quartet Artistic Director Allan Bell and the University of Calgary String Quartet gave performances during the Royal Society banquet. © Terri-Lynne Macdonald

With the support of the University of Calgary as presenting sponsor and the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) held its annual general meeting in Banff Nov. 14-17, bringing together Fellows and Institutional Members from across the country.

“The recognition of scholarly and artistic excellence in our country is absolutely essential as we aim to position our nation as a global leader in discovery, innovation, and creativity,” says President Elizabeth Cannon, herself a fellow of the Royal Society. “The University of Calgary was delighted to be chosen as the presenting sponsor for the 2013 annual general meeting.”

The four-day program began with the annual symposium, Social Justice in the 21st Century:  A new Intergenerational Contract, featuring keynote speaker Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, alongside renowned economist Armine Yalnizyan, social justice advocate Judy Rebick, and a number of other recognized authorities in these issues.  

The University of Calgary was well represented in terms of participation and attendance at the symposium: Stephen Randall, director of the Latin American Research Centre and a Royal Society fellow, chaired a session on diversity amongst youth and Raphael Jacob, president of the Students’ Union, was one of three panelists discussing student movements. With the support of Ed McCauley, vice-president (research), 25 students from various disciplines attended the day-long symposium.

Over the course of the weekend, four University of Calgary professors were formally inducted as RSC fellows: David Eagle, Walter Herzog, Peter Stys, and Steve Larter (2012). An RSC fellowship is one of this country’s highest academic honours; and the number of Canadian fellows — now more than 2,000 — is a testament to the high calibre of the Canadian research community.

The Royal Society’s banquet – the premier event celebrating Canadian scholarly and artistic excellence – closed the busy weekend.   The banquet brought together scholars and artists from all disciplines, as well as Institutional Members of the RSC and corporate supporters of higher education.   

With Allan Bell as artistic director, the evening featured a composition by newly elected fellow, David Eagle, and a performance by the University of Calgary String Quartet along with a digital sound processing performance by Ali Nader Esfahani, University of Calgary Killam Scholar.

The RSC’s 2014 annual general meeting will take place in Quebec City.