‘Concordia’s experts provide solutions to some of the great challenges that face society’
The exceptional work of Concordians who actively engaged with news media over the past year was celebrated at a digital event on December 1.
Concordia President Graham Carr kicked off the President’s Media Outreach Awards announcements by emphasizing the value of communicating with the wider public about the university’s research and teaching activities.
“Concordia’s experts work really hard, not only to provide solutions to some of the great challenges that face society but to communicate those challenges in a public way and that’s important for universities,” he said.
Carr thanked the faculty members, students and staff for taking the time to speak with journalists and provide fact-based perspective, pointing out that their media appearances had been crucial over the past year and a half-plus.
“As we’ve seen over the course of the last 20 months, the importance of sharing our expertise with the public has taken on a heightened significance in the context of the pandemic,” added Carr.
Quebec’s chief scientist Remi Quirion spoke at the awards ceremony. He reinforced Carr’s views on the significance of communicating scholarly work, especially at this particular juncture, saying he had delighted in seeing the spotlight thrown on researchers alongside politicians and public health officials.
“I hope that, post-pandemic, scientists will continue to be very present in the media, traditional media, social media, explaining science. We have a role there as experts to help others follow in your footsteps,” he said.
Quirion pointed out that the Fonds de Recherche du Québec has rolled out a number of programs that seek to support scholars in effectively communicating their scientific knowledge through the media. Both Quirion and Carr believe such efforts will have huge impacts on challenges such as climate change, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.
Concordia’s four academic deans were joined by Anne Whitelaw, provost and vice-president, academic, Paula Wood-Adams, interim vice-president of research and graduate studies, and Philippe Beauregard, chief communications officer, in honouring this year’s President’s Media Outreach Awards recipients .
The 2021 award winners are:
- Research Communicators of the Year – International – Leon Wang and Bettina Forget
- Research Communicator of the Year – National – Simon Bacon
- Graduate Research Communicator of the Year – Marc-André Argentino
- Opinion Leaders of the Year – Jean-Philippe Warren and Philippe Rioux
- Expert Commentator of the Year – Ann-Louise Davidson
- Francophone Media Communicator of the Year – Ted Rutland
- Communications Ambassadors of the Year – Annick Maugile Flavien, Angélique Willkie and Manon Tremblay
A special award was presented posthumously to Nadia Chaudhri, professor in the Department of Psychology, for her exceptional grace, strength and determination as she raised awareness about ovarian cancer, the disease she battled until her death last October.
Chaudhri also spearheaded the launch of the Nadia Chaudhri Wingspan Award and a record-setting fundraising effort that will provide scholarships to students from underrepresented backgrounds pursuing their training in the field of neuroscience.
A new award category was introduced this year to recognize outstanding contributions to The Conversation and its Quebec-based edition, La Conversation. Louise Champoux-Paillé, executive-in-residence at the John Molson School of Business, was honoured with the inaugural award for the many pieces she wrote for the online platform, with a focus on the impact of women in leadership roles throughout the pandemic.
Watch a recording of the virtual ceremony of Concordia’s 2020-21 President’s Media Outreach Awards, held December 1.