Dr. Ursula M. Frankin, O.C. FRSC to be the 22nd Recipient of the Pearson Peace Medal
January 14, 2001
Ursula Franklin - a woman who has earned an enviable national and
international reputation among friends and colleagues during a lifetime of
service and activism - is the 22nd recipient of the Pearson Peace Medal. Mr.
Geoffrey Pearson, National President of the United Nations Association in
Canada, will make the medal presentation on Tuesday, 15 January, 2002 at
the Ursula Franklin Academy in Toronto.
Dr. Franklin came to Canada in 1949 after completing her Ph.D. in
experimental physics at the Technical University of Berlin. She has had a
distinguished scientific and teaching career in her chosen field of
metallurgy and ancient materials at the Ontario Research Foundation and then
at the University of Toronto, including her current position as Professor
Emeritas in that university's Department of Metallurgy and Materials
Science. More than 70 scholarly papers and major contributions to books and
seminars attest to her scientific abilities, as do several honorary degrees
and other recognitions. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
She has also been one of the moving forces in the efforts to ensure peace,
social justice and human rights in both this country and internationally.
Her energy and intellect have kept her in the forefront of these critical
global issues for years. To quote her nominator for this honour, "by her
direct actions, in support of or in opposition to ideas and policies, she
has changed the thinking, the assumptions, the direction of the lives of
those who have welcomed her clarity, her honesty, her beautiful and often
humorous use of language, her constant search for truth and her ability to
share this search with others".
One of the most fitting honours in recognition of Dr. Franklin's tireless
commitment to peace has been the naming of an inner city Toronto high school
as the Ursula Franklin Academy. This has been much more than a nominal
honour. She has actively participated in the life of the school, and in
particular in the establishment of a ground-breaking programme in
cross-cultural understanding and conflict resolution. The school is a part
of the Canadian Network of Innovative Schools (initiated by SchoolNet)- it
also has significant international connections (ufa.tdsb.on.ca). UNA-Canada
is delighted to be collaborating with the staff and students of the Academy,
who will host the presentation ceremony.
UNA-Canada awards the Pearson Peace Medal annually to a Canadian who has
personally contributed to those humanitarian causes to which Lester B.
Pearson devoted his distinguished career and honours outstanding Canadian
achievements in the field of international service and understanding . The
Medal was first awarded in 1979 to Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger. Recent
recipients have included Flora Macdonald (1999), Pat Roy Mooney (1998) Hanna
Newcombe (1997), Gerry Barr (1996), Gisèle Côté-Harper (1995) and Martin
Connell (1994). A jury of eminent Canadians selects the recipient of the