Celebrating a life as an environmental scholar and advocate, John Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change at Queen’s University, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science, honoris causa (DSc), at the Wednesday afternoon session of Western’s 309th Convocation.
The famed ecologist, limnologist and paleolimnologist urged Science and Social Science graduates to avoid propaganda and political manipulation by thoughtfully considering all things and seeking the truth in every endeavor.
“We need informed, free-thinking, generous individuals who have the confidence to change the world. For a democracy to function effectively, we will need you to remain curious, be probing, be active and be engaged,” Smol said.
“Universities help come up with complex solutions to complex problems; we will have to embrace complexity as we move forward in our lives. Be vigilant in pursuing thoughtful discussion. Effectively communicate your findings and ideas. Challenge the comforts of complacency. Make some noise and shake things up. Sometimes, we have to have the courage to throw stones at giants. Pledge to make a difference.”