Defining Moments Canada: Insulin100 – Manufacturing Hope

February 19, 2021

READ IT HERE: ‘Manufacturing Hope’ written by John Lorinc – the cover story from Canada’s History Magazine (February/March 2021) is available courtesy of Defining Moments Canada

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Join Defining Moments Canada to explore a century of insulin’s far-reaching legacy and the impact the discovery continues to have on Canadians today.

TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada has entered the second year of its Insulin100: Inspiration and Innovation commemorative project and is excited to share John Lorinc’s newest piece, ‘Manufacturing Hope’, which examines the discovery of insulin’s continued legacy in honour of the centennial (originally published in Canada’s History Magazine.)

One hundred years after this milestone medical discovery and decades of continued innovation, there is still no cure for diabetes. As Lorinc explains, “It would be fair to say that insulin is quite possibly Canada’s most consequential scientific achievement, and it’s certainly the discovery that put U of T on the global research map. Now synthesized and produced in various forms, insulin remains the treatment of choice for type 1, or juvenile diabetes, which is a chronic and possibly genetic condition that begins in childhood. Type 2 diabetes, which typically beings in adulthood and is strongly associated with a carbohydrate-rich diet requires behavioural changes and other forms of glucose monitoring to prevent related illnesses such as stroke, heart disease, blindness, and gangrene in the lower extremities.” As diabetics well know, insulin is keeping them alive, and they continue to express their heartfelt thanks to the discoverers, but it is not a full solution to this epidemic.

With the 100th anniversary of the first successful human administration of insulin around the corner, Defining Moments Canada is raising awareness of the continued legacy of insulin and the impact diabetes has on Canadians today. There are incredible stories to be shared, not only about the discovery – which “was fraught with drama, competition, and conflict” – but also about the people who continue to dedicate their lives to diabetes research and care.

In the century since the discovery, Canada has been at the forefront of numerous medical achievements and has become home to a number of institutions world-renowned for their scientific research. This too is the significant legacy of the discovery of insulin and reflects a particular passion of Dr. Frederick Banting – to inspire and support future scientists and researchers. These stories of scientific and medical innovation are integral echoes of the discovery story and are connected under the umbrella of public health. Read Lorinc’s entire article, titled ‘Manufacturing Hope’, and learn more about the discovery of insulin and its complex legacy at

All historical content is scaffolded by educational tools, which support direct alignment with Canadian classrooms. Defining Moments Canada is engaging deeply with the varied legacies of the discovery of insulin through partnerships with research and advocacy groups, sharing the stories of ground-breaking Canadian scientists, and providing a platform for a diverse group of individuals to tell their own stories of life with diabetes. Educators can bring these stories into their classrooms with educator-curated lesson plans, historical articles, and microhistories: all are easily adapted for synchronous and ‘face-to-face’ learning with multiple cross-disciplinary entry points – available on the Defining Moments Canada website.

Our valued partners supporting Defining Moments Canada include the University of Toronto, McMaster Children and Youth University (MCYU), Novo Nordisk (Canada), Sanofi Pasteur (Canada), and Banting House National Historic Site and Diabetes Canada. This initiative is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Ministry of Canadian Heritage Celebration and Commemoration Program. 

Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada is a digital heritage and education company which endeavours to engage in a new and innovative way to teach and commemorate Canada’s history using twenty-first century tools and storytelling skills. It has previously carried out the national commemorations of the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic in Canada and the 75th anniversary of D-Day – ‘Juno75’. In 2020, Defining Moments Canada led the national digital commemoration for VEDay75, in partnership with Veteran’s Affairs Canada.

For more information, digital images or to set up an interview, please contact:

Neil Orford, President
Defining Moments Canada

Amy McBride Bowen, Communications Assistant
Defining Moments Canada