Announcing Herzberg50 and NobelCanadian

May 4, 2021

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TORONTO, May 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada, a heritage education organization, announced today its partnership with the Government of Canada (through Canadian Heritage and the National Research Council of Canada NRC), the University of Saskatchewan, and Esri Canada to lead a national commemorative project this year honouring the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Gerhard Herzberg’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which will develop into a full commemoration project honouring all of Canada’s Nobel Laureates in 2022-2023.

HERZBERG50 will spotlight Dr. Herzberg’s Nobel-Prize winning research, as well as celebrate his impact on science policy and education, and his remarkable life journey. This storytelling initiative will be enhanced by ‘NobelCanadian’, a digital space to recognize Canadian Nobel Laureates, their achievements, and their deep imprint on this country. “The team at Defining Moments Canada is honoured to commemorate the achievements of Canada’s Nobel Laureates over the next two years. Paying special tribute to the remarkable life of Dr. Gerhard Herzberg is emblematic of all our inspiring Nobel Prize recipients,” said Neil Orford, President of Defining Moments Canada. “Herzberg’s lifetime commitment to research defined a new standard for science education in Canada, and we are proud to inaugurate the ‘NobelCanadian’ project with Herzberg50 in 2021.”

With the support of our partners, Defining Moments Canada will draw from the extensive research and digital archives curated by National Research Council of Canada, the University of Saskatchewan, and other major academic and research institutions nationwide to host these bilingual national commemorative projects on its website. These projects will inspire young Canadians to discover the lives and contributions of those who led scientific innovation and achievement over the last century.

The commemoration will feature a digital mosaic of “micro-histories” and accompanying pedagogical tools to explore the impact of Herzberg’s research and his personal story. Schools, museums, academic institutions, and organizations associated with physics and chemistry education will have access to the site’s articles, lesson plans, digital tools, assets, and artifacts through our innovative story-mapping and ‘virtual exhibition’ models, which will be appropriate for use in virtual or in-person learning across Canada.

Funded through Canadian Heritage’s Celebration and Commemoration Program, the initiative will utilize digital pedagogy and media, with content based on our model for ‘Curatorial Thinking.’ Young learners will be encouraged to become ‘digital detectives,’ learning how to develop and share commemorative stories with their communities.

“To get youth interested in past events, we must ensure that they have access to learning tools adapted to their reality. The Government of Canada is proud to support this national commemorative project celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Gerhard Herzberg’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. I hope that such a remarkable story and model will inspire a new generation of scientists.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

National Research Council of Canada is a major financial partner for Herzberg50.

“This year marks two important milestones for Canada and Germany: the 50th anniversary of Dr. Gerhard Herzberg’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the 50th anniversary of the formal Canada-Germany Science and Technology collaboration,” says Mitch Davies, President of the NRC. “Dr. Herzberg was a world-renowned scientist who advanced knowledge and pushed boundaries in chemistry, physics, and astrophysics with his passion for excellence and scientific exploration as a professor in Germany, and then as a researcher at the NRC. The NRC is honoured to celebrate Dr. Herzberg’s legacy.”

The project will also be supported by archival and historical research from the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Herzberg’s home for 10 research-intensive years.

“Herzberg’s work is a testament to the importance of fundamental research where transformative applications become evident over time,” said University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff. “I am proud that the University of Saskatchewan and Canada welcomed Herzberg and his wife when no other country or university did, and in the process, enabled him to undertake superb work on the journey to the Nobel Prize. His legacy is evident today in so many ways, including at the USask Canadian Light Source where scientists from across Canada and around the world continue to unravel the mysteries of atomic structure.”

Esri Canada is supporting Defining Moments Canada with its innovative ArcGIS mapping technology, which will be used to teach and commemorate the life and work of Dr. Herzberg and the Canadian Nobel Laureates.

“Esri Canada is proud to collaborate with Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada by bringing digital heritage into pan-Canadian K-12 education using twenty-first century tools and storytelling skills to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Gerhard Herzberg’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Bringing our history alive in this way allows us all to celebrate the defining moments of our past with the technology of the current era.”
– Jean Tong, Esri Canada K-12 Education Manager

Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada is a digital heritage and education company, leading innovative educational engagement and the commemoration of 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 began ‘Insulin100’ a three-year commemorative project to celebrate the 100th Anniversary for the Discovery of Insulin, and 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

Jenifer Terry, Executive Director
Defining Moments Canada