Travelling Exhibit to Commemorate Gerhard Herzberg and 50 Years of Scientific Collaboration Between Canada and Germany

August 10, 2021

OTTAWA, August 9th, 2021 – Defining Moments Canada, a heritage and education
organisation, is proud to enter into partnership with the Embassy of the Federal Republic
of Germany in Canada for ‘Herzberg50,’ commemorating the 50th anniversary of the
Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to eminent Canadian German scientist Dr. Gerhard
Herzberg. This partnership will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the landmark
German Canadian Intergovernmental Agreement on Scientific and Technological
Cooperation signed in 1971. It is part of the German Embassy’s continued
commemoration of notable German Canadians and of Defining Moments Canada’s
HERZBERG50 commemorative project.

The year 2021 marks 50 years of cooperation between Canada and Germany on science
and technology research, resulting in upwards of 1000 joint research projects in various
fields and in facilitated mobility for researchers and students between the two countries.
The 1971 science and technology agreement has led to Germany and Canada becoming
important partners in scientific research, an outstandingly successful collaboration that
continues to provide internationally profound results after 50 years.
50 years ago, Dr. Gerhard Herzberg received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Born and schooled in Germany, Herzberg emigrated to Canada in 1935, where he became a world-
renowned scientist for his work on spectroscopy both at the University of

Saskatchewan and later the National Research Council. Gerhard Herzberg is celebrated
as one of Canada’s greatest research scientists, and he was a powerful advocate for
scientist endorsed science policy in Canada.
This collaboration between the German Embassy and Defining Moments Canada will
allow the creation of a traveling exhibition on the life and impact of Gerhard Herzberg. It
complements a national online digital exhibition entitled HERZBERG50, which will
spotlight Dr. Herzberg’s Nobel-Prize winning research and his impact on science policy
and education. It also celebrates his remarkable life journey and personality.
The exhibition will tour Canada beginning in early 2022, with stops at museums,
universities and research institutions acting as hosts. For information on how to become
involved or host the exhibit, contact
Defining Moments Canada and the German Embassy are excited to work together to
shed light on these landmark anniversaries and commemorate the impact of both
Herzberg’s Nobel Prize and the 1971 science and technology agreement on research in
Canada for the last 50 years.

“In 2021, we are honoured to commemorate two enormously significant landmark
achievements in Canadian History from 50 years ago. Dr. Herzberg always saw Canada
as “a country that is recognized throughout the world, and throughout history, as a
country that has advanced in a significant way the progress of science, art and
literature.” He believed that the awarding of a Nobel Prize could significantly change the
public knowledge of the status of Canadian science; and through our project, we hope
to increase public awareness of the scope and legacy of Canadian scientific
achievement, so enriched by Herzberg’s commitment to research and his stature among
our greatest scientists.” Neil Orford, president of Defining Moments Canada

“On the part of Germany – a small country in size, lacking in natural resources – our
Science and Technology cooperation started in 1971 with a focus on Canada’s vast
riches of energy, raw materials, and space. Over five decades, it has evolved into a
scientific partnership that is internationally outstanding in its excellence and intensity in
the world. Today, German and Canadians research together in all the fields that will
shape our future: life sciences, artificial intelligence, quantum computing…” German Ambassador to Canada, Sabine Sparwasser

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