Watch the CSPC 2021 Trailblazer Award Ceremony

The CSPC Trailblazer Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated novelty and creativity through leadership, vision, courage, and commitment, and positively and significantly impacted the Canadian Science, Technology and Innovation ecosystem. These individuals have been instrumental in boldly spearheading change via one or more transformative initiatives, while blazing a trail and inspiring others to follow.

CSPC 2023 will present three Trailblazer Awards, one in each of the categories of Policy for Science, Science for Policy and Innovation Policy.

CSPC encourages nominations from all disciplines of policy and sciences (social and human sciences, mathematical, physical and life sciences, engineering and technology) and from all sectors (governments at all levels, academia, private and nonprofit sectors, media, and others). Please note that technological or scientific discoveries or inventions are not considered for this award.

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2023 – Trailblazer Award Winner

Dr. Catherine Beaudry

Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal

Dr. Catherine Beaudry, is an esteemed scholar and a renowned expert in innovation policy. She has dedicated her career to the study and promotion of innovation in all its forms. As a professor, researcher, and author, and advisory on a wide range of committees and decision making tables, her work has not only advanced our understanding of innovation but has also influenced policy decisions that have shaped our economy and society for the better.

This award is a testament to her profound impact on the field of innovation policy and the transformational changes she has inspired.

2023 – Trailblazer Award Winner

Dr. David Hammond

Professor and University Research Chair in the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo

Dr. David Hammond, a recognized expert in public health and tobacco control, has dedicated his life to applying scientific evidence to the development of effective public policies. He has been a catalyst for change, influencing decisions that have saved lives, improved public health, and advanced the well-being of countless individuals.

Dr David Hammond was selected for this award by the Selection Committee because of his work has had a direct impact on national regulations and international standards for policies on advertising and marketing, health warnings and product labeling, product standards, and public education campaigns.

This award is a testament to his profound impact on the scientific community and society as a whole.

2023 – Trailblazer Award Winner

Hon. Kirsty Duncan

Deputy House Leader Member of Parliament

Hon. Kirsty Duncan has an impressive and extensive career in science, education, and government. She holds a Ph.D. in geography, has been a professor, a renowned author, and most notably, she served as Canada’s Minister of Science from 2015 to 2019. During her tenure, she championed science, research, and innovation as essential drivers of economic growth.

She was selected as the recipient of this Award because of her significant contribution as the Minister of Science, and later as a Member of Parliament. During these two periods, she championed the significant shift and major policy change by:

  • Leading the charge for more inclusive scientific enterprises
  • Increasing funding for scientific research in Canada
  • Forming the first ever Committee of Science and Research in our national Parliament
  • Restoring the trust of the Canadian public in science- based government departments.

This award is a symbol of the profound impact she has had on the scientific community and society as a whole.

2022 – Trailblazer Award Winner

Dr. Elicia Maine

Associate Vice-President, Knowledge Mobilization and Innovation, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Elicia Maine, Associate Vice-President, Knowledge Mobilization and Innovation at Simon Fraser University, was selected for her work on the i2I program, which was tailor-made to mobilize university research, teach science and technology commercialization, and develop an entrepreneurial mindset in graduate scientists and engineers. Dr. Maine recognized key gaps in our Canadian science innovation ecosystem: Canadian STEM researchers being underutilized, Canadian science breakthroughs being underdeveloped and scientists needing additional support to translate discoveries into value-creating products and companies. This program nurtures a pipeline of talent within the wider Canadian innovation ecosystem and is recognized globally because of its distinct approach to unleashing the innovation potential of STEM researchers.

2022 – Trailblazer Award Winner

Dr. Gregory J. Smallwood

Principal Research Officer, National Research Council of Canada

Dr. Gregory J. Smallwood, Principal Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada, was selected for his work on international climate change-related policy, which comes at a critical time in efforts to achieve global policy agreements to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. His science-to-policy advocacy has had a dramatically positive impact on reducing global transportation-related black carbon and other nvPM that are key drivers of climate change and adverse health effects. In particular, his sustained and creative policy advocacy has resulted in one of the most significant changes to global aircraft engine emission standards since the 1980s.

2022 – Trailblazer Award Winner

Dr. Imogen Coe

Professor, Toronto Metropolitan University

Dr. Imogen Coe, Professor, Toronto Metropolitan University, was selected for her work on integrating the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into the research ecosystem of STEM including into the policies and practices of funding agencies and government, and into the workplaces of commerce and industry where scientific knowledge may be generated or applied. Long before EDI became street-talk within government and academia, she recognized a problem endemic to science. She has had significant influence on where, when, and how EDI has been – and is being – integrated into policy developed by government, funding agencies, scholarly societies, post-secondary institutions, health-care entities, and commercial and not-for-profit enterprises. Imogen Coe has inspired a generation with her championship work on EDI.

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2021 – Trailblazer Award Winner

Josephine Etowa

Professor, University of Ottawa
Senior Investigator, Centre for Research on Health and Nursing

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2021 – Trailblazer Award Winner

Category: Science Policy

Yann Joly

Research Director, Centre of Genomics and Policy

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2020 – Trailblazer Award Winner

Dr. Cara Tannenbaum

Scientific Director, The Canadian Institutes of Health (CIHR’s) Institute of Gender and Health
Professor in the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy, The Université de Montréal