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2009 Polanyi Prize Awarded To Top Researchers

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2009 Polanyi Prize Awarded To Top Researchers

McGuinty Government Celebrates Research Excellence In Ontario

Five Ontario university researchers will be awarded the 2009 Polanyi Prize, recognizing their outstanding contributions in the areas of chemistry, physiology/medicine, literature, physics and economics.

The Polanyi Prizes were established in 1987 by the Ontario government to honour the achievements of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Five prizes are awarded annually to outstanding young researchers in the early stages of their careers at Ontario universities.

The 2009 Polanyi Prize recipients are:

• Dr. Gustavo Javier Bobonis of the University of Toronto, for economics
• Dr. Amelia DeFalco of McMaster University, for literature
• Dr. Michael Kiang of McMaster University, for physiology/medicine
• Dr. Nicholas Jay Mosey of Queen's University, for chemistry
• Dr. Laura Catherine Parker of McMaster University, for physics

They will be honoured in Toronto at a ceremony at Massey College on Monday, November 23, 2009.

Quick Facts

  • Recepients of a Polanyi Prize receive $20,000 each
  • The Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, an affiliate of the Council of Ontario Universities, establishes a panel on behalf of the government to solicit nominations and select the award winners from a rich collection of nominees.

Background Information


“Although these awards were created to honour Dr. Polanyi, they also serve to shine a spotlight on researchers, who are the unsung heroes of modern advances. Without the benefits of research, the standard of living for all Ontarians would be very much worse, our level of knowledge very much lower, and our quality of life very much diminished.”

The Honourable David C. Onley

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“We are proud to invest in the bright ideas and the bright futures of up-and-coming researchers across Ontario. The McGuinty government understands that when we invest in our research talent, we are fostering world-class breakthroughs and investing in the future of Ontario.”

John Milloy

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Minister of Research and Innovation

“The fact that the Government of Ontario has, through two decades and many changes, continued to sponsor these prizes carries a clear message: 'If you are an ambitious scholar, this is the place to be.' The prizes cover a broad spectrum of subjects from the sciences to the humanities, making the further point that excellence is indivisible; creativity in the arts supports that in science; and basic understanding is essential for innovation. If the province can succeed in making these points, the prizes will have served a historic purpose.”

Dr. John C. Polanyi



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