Just two years after Joanna Quinn was named to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), the Western Political Science professor will move into the organization’s top post. Quinn was recently named President-Elect of the College, to be followed by a two-year term as President beginning in November 2018.
“Upon being elected in 2015, I decided I wanted to engage in a meaningful way with the Royal Society and, in particular, with the College, rather than just take the election as an honorific,” said Quinn, who was nominated for the role by fellow Western faculty members who are also members of the College. “It is a real vote of confidence to know they think highly enough of my abilities to think I could serve the national body that is the College. And since we only have seven short years (College membership) to make that happen, there’s no time to waste.”
Members of the College are scholars and artists, who, at an early stage in their career, have demonstrated a high level of achievement. The organization elected only its fourth cohort of members this past weekend in Winnipeg, which included Western’s Laura Huey (Department of Sociology) and Sharon Sliwinski (Faculty of Information & Media Studies).
Western now has 14 members as part of the College.
“The College is still a very new institution – and there is lots of work to be done to shape the society itself. It’s exciting to be and to be on the ground floor when important decisions are being made,” Quinn said.
She continued, “The College presents a great opportunity to showcase and connect on a lot of different levels. It is humbling to be part of an organization that represents Canada’s emerging intellectual leaders, who are truly amazing and dynamic people, all of whom work collaboratively and across the traditional silos of academe.”
John Capone, Vice-President (Research), said he’s happy to see Quinn take on such a prominent role within the RSC.
“We’re extremely proud of not only professor Quinn’s research at Western, which examines how societies acknowledge and cope with past crimes, but of her leadership within the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists,” said Capone. “It comes at a time when Western and the RSC alike are taking great strides to increase scholarly connections and promote excellence in research.”
Established in 1883, the RSC recognized it was in danger of becoming somewhat fossilized. At the same time, the organization accepted the fact groundbreaking work was being conducted by mid-career scholars who were not quite ready for induction as Fellows into the RSC. Looking to the emerging generation of scholars, many of whom were working on important new ideas in interdisciplinary and innovative ways, sought to inject new life into the RSC, Quinn explained.
“I hope, together, we can build a strong and vibrant institution that will provide intellectual leadership on the important issues of our time,” she said. “So many of us have chosen to dig in and that engagement is paying big dividends already.”