Polanyi Prizes to two U of T researchers

November 26th, 2013

by Paul Fraumeni

U of T’s David Francis Taylor and J. Patrick Clancy are two of five Ontario researchers who have been awarded Polanyi Prizes.

The prizes were created to celebrate U of T professor John Polanyi’s 1986 Nobel Prize win.  With funding from the Government of Ontario, the annual awards provide $20,000 to recipients and mirror the diverse categories of the Nobel Prizes.

“As some of the most prestigious awards in Ontario, the Polanyi Prizes have an incredible impact on the research they support,” said Max Blouw, chair of the Council of Ontario Universities and President of Wilfrid Laurier University.

Taylor, who is an assistant professor in U of T’s Department of English, won in the Literature category.  He is studying the role that political cartoons played in 18th century Britain.  Taylor demonstrates that many of these works included reference to high society, which served to exclude the masses.

Clancy, a post-doctoral fellow in U of T’s Department of Physics, is researching quantum materials using advanced x-ray and neutron scattering techniques.  He is examining the physics of iridium-based quantum materials, which could lead to innovations in quantum technology.

“Congratulations to Professor Taylor and Dr. Clancy,” said Professor Paul Young, U of T’s vice president, Research and Innovation.  “This is a great honour for two superb young scholars.  “The Government of Ontario has quite rightly recognized the importance of enabling the next generation of creative researchers in all fields to pursue their work at Ontario universities.  We are deeply thankful to the Province for this investment.”

From left to right: Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities (which administers the awards), Prize winner Dr. Patrick Clancy (U of Toronto); Prize winner Dr. Roland Pongou (U of Ottawa); Minister of Colleges, Training and Universities Brad Duguid; Massey College Master John Fraser; (who hosted the event), Dr. John Polanyi; (Nobel Prize winner for whom the prizes are named); Prize winner Dr. Diane Gregory (Wilfrid Laurier University); Lt.-Gov. David Onley; Prize winner Dr. Jean-Paul Paluzzi (York University), Prize winner Dr. David Taylor (U of Toronto). Photo provided by COU.