Six noted Western scholars have been elected as new Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) in recognition of their outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievements.
The scholars are among 101 new Fellows elected to the RSC this year. Recognition by the RSC for career achievement is the highest honour an individual can achieve in the arts, sciences and social sciences.
On Sept. 12, the Society also announced the 2023 Chauveau Medal had been awarded to literature professor Tilottama Rajan, in the department of English and writing studies.
“Since the publication of her first groundbreaking book, The Dark Interpreter (1980), Tilottama Rajan has been a leading international figure in the fields of Romantic literature, German Idealism and contemporary theory. That book was followed by The Supplement of Reading, Deconstruction and the Remainders of Phenomenology (1990), and Romantic Narrative (2010), as well as numerous editions and edited collections and over 100 journal articles and book chapters (a mind-boggling number for literature scholars),” said professor Jan Plug, acting dean, Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
“Awarded biennially, the Chauveau Medal recognizes ‘a distinguished contribution to knowledge in the humanities other than Canadian literature and Canadian history’ and has only been given a handful of times to scholars of literature. Previous awardees are among the most important scholars Canada has been home to, including Northrop Frye and Tilottama’s father, Balachandra Rajan, also a former Western faculty member in the department of English. We are fortunate to count Tilottama among our colleagues,” said Plug.
Western alum Nikki Sandhu, JD’23, was awarded the Abella Prize, which is given to the top graduating student from each Canadian law school who is most likely to positively influence equity and social justice.
“The Royal Society of Canada is very proud to welcome an imposing group of inspiring scholars, artists and creators whose peers have recognized their exceptional contributions to the world of science and culture and to the well-being of our society. The impact of their work will continue to be felt in the development of public policies for years to come, while adding greatly to the enrichment of public life,” said Alain-G. Gagnon, president of the RSC.
The six Western scholars who were elected Fellows of the RSC are:
Antonio Calcagno, department of philosophy, King’s University College
An internationally renowned scholar of continental European philosophy from the 19th and 20th centuries, Antonio Calcagno specializes in social and political theory across multiple areas. His work includes research on women philosophers whose ideas were foundational for the Phenomenological Movement. He has been a key figure in introducing contemporary Italian philosophy to English-speaking countries.
Cheryl Forchuk, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing
Cheryl Forchuk is the Beryl and Richard Ivey Research Chair in Aging, Mental Health, Rehabilitation and Recovery. She is a professor at Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing with a cross-appointment to the department of psychiatry at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. Forchuk uses participatory approaches to develop and test solutions including transitional discharge, technology in mental health care, poverty, housing and homelessness.
Marlys Koschinsky, department of physiology and pharmacology
Marlys Koschinsky is recognized worldwide as a leading expert on the structure, metabolism and pathophysiology of lipoprotein(a). She is a highly respected thought leader and collaborates with diverse groups of global stakeholders. Koschinsky has an outstanding track record in the dissemination of her research through publications, invited presentations and participation in formal scientific statements. She continues to contribute seminal findings to inform this important area of cardiovascular research.
Dr. Ruth Lanius, department of psychiatry
Dr. Ruth Lanius, Harris-Woodman Chair in Mind-Body Medicine, is world-renowned for her research in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her group’s research on defining and characterizing the brain underpinnings of PTSD subtypes has played an instrumental role in the addition of the dissociative subtype of PTSD to the most recent Diagnostic Statistical Manual in Psychiatry-5, which guides psychiatric assessment and treatment nationally and internationally. Her research team focuses on studying novel brain-guided treatments for PTSD and translating science to inform clinical practice on a global level.
Isaac Luginaah, department of geography and environment
Isaac Luginaah is a global leader in environment and health research. His transdisciplinary research addresses how complex environmental issues are radically changing health landscapes in the face of increased burdens from environmental change, food systems and exposure in developed and developing countries. His pioneering work in Africa and North America has made strong theoretical and methodological contributions, addressing environmental hazards and health inequities.
Alan MacEachern, department of history
Alan MacEachern has been a leader in the field of environmental history nationally and internationally for the past quarter century. He was the founding director of Network in Canadian History and Environment, a Canadian network for humanities and social science scholars working at the intersection of nature and history. A public-facing scholar who has written broadly for the popular press, he is also renowned for his scholarly writing on the history of Atlantic Canada and of national parks.