York prof president of Royal Canadian Institute

Ron Pearlman

University Professor Emeritus Ronald Pearlman of York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering has been named president of the prestigious Royal Canadian Institute (RCI) for the Advancement of Science.

Pearlman, currently first-vice-president of the RCI, is the director of York’s Core Molecular Biology/DNA Ron PearlmanSequencing Facility and former dean and associate dean of York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies. He will be formally inducted at the institute’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, May 10.

Ron Pearlman

The Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science is the oldest scientific society in Canada, founded in Toronto in 1849 by a small group of civil engineers and surveyors led by Sir Sandford Fleming. Its mission is to enhance public awareness about science, and it is best known for its free public lecture series held on Sunday afternoons in the fall and winter on the University of Toronto campus, and similar free lectures on Thursdays at the Mississauga Public Library.

“I’m grateful to have this opportunity to lead an organization with such an important mission,” Pearlman says. “Science impacts our lives on a daily basis, and in all areas. We need to have a science-literate population, and in a civil society we need a vibrant science culture.”

As president, Pearlman will continue to build on public outreach initiatives, such as making public lectures available via webcasts produced by York University. Recent lectures have included top scientists like the University of Toronto’s Shana O. Kelley discussing the latest nanotech tools for diagnosing disease, and York’s own Ellen Bialystok on reshaping the brain through bilingualism. For a full list of lectures available online, click here.

“On behalf of the York research community, I would like to congratulate Dr. Ron Pearlman, University Professor Emeritus of York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, on his appointment as president of the Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science,” says Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “As a leading expert in the field of genomics, with a long-standing successful career, Ron has worked to advance scientific research on an international scale and has been a phenomenal ambassador for York research. This prestigious appointment is well deserved.”

Pearlman was recently recognized with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his outstanding contributions to the RCI, and his support of science culture and literacy in Canada. In addition to his role at York, he is also associate scientific director of the Gairdner Foundation and co-ordinates its student outreach program. His research interests includemolecular biology and biochemistry, cell biology and genetics utilizing the new genomic and proteomic technologies.

The RCI and York University are also among the sponsors of the upcoming Science Rendezvous, an annual cross-country event that brings science and technology face to face with the Canadian public in a non-intimidating, festival atmosphere at many academic institutions as well as in public spaces.