Royal Society of Canada
The Royal Society of Canada, the senior national organization for the promotion of learning and research in Canada, was founded in 1882 by the Governor General, the Marquess of Lorne, and leading scholars of the day headed by Sir William Dawson, Principal of McGill University, and P.O.
Royal Society of Canada
The Royal Society of Canada, the senior national organization for the promotion of learning and research in Canada, was founded in 1882 by the Governor General, the Marquess of Lorne, and leading scholars of the day headed by Sir William Dawson, Principal of McGill University, and P.O. Chaveau, educator and former Premier of Québec. The founding group of 80 members were organized in 4 sections, including French and English literature and allied subjects, mathematical and physical sciences and geological and biological sciences.
The Society remains one of the few bodies in Canada or elsewhere covering the entire range of scholarship and is now organized in 3 academies: L'Académie des lettres et des sciences humaines, the Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Academy of Science, which includes natural and applied sciences and engineering. Election as a Fellow remains a prized professional honour, shared in 1998 by some 1600 Canadians. The Society also rewards outstanding achievements and distinguished lifetime accomplishments in the humanities, basic and applied sciences and in public education, by awarding a score of medals and prizes. In its early years it urged the creation of many now-existing national museums and scientific and cultural institutions. With the formation of many LEARNED and Scientific Societies in specific disciplines it has given increasing attention to complex issues in health, environmental and social concerns requiring a broad, multi-disciplinary approach.
Annual meetings since 1882 have been augmented in the last 40 years by national and international symposia, workshops and regional meetings held in centres across Canada and, since 1980, by a program of projects and commissions on important topics of the day. The results have generally been published in its Transactions, or in books and reports. Internationally, ties to national academies in other countries have grown through a series of bilateral agreements for scholarly exchanges and by leading Canadian contributions to international programs, notably on environmental and social topics.