This week I attended the gala for the 2012 Canada Gairdner Awards held at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto. In the shadows of towering dinosaur skeletons and in front of an audience of the who’s who of health research, six international and one Canadian researcher were presented with their awards.
I had the privilege this morning to meet Canada’s outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers. 27 of our nation’s best educators were in Ottawa as recipients of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Their visit coincided with World Teachers’ Day which is held annually on October 5th.
Alain Beaudet, president of CIHR, and I had lunch today with Dr. Yves Joanette. Yves is the Scientific Director of one of CIHR’s thirteen Institutes, the Institute of Aging. In addition to serving as Scientific Director, Yves is also a professor at the Faculty of medicine of the Université de Montréal and Lab Director at the Research Center of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal.
For the last 28 years I served as an astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency and was privileged to fly twice in space. I have a lifetime of wonderful memories of both of those missions and long-lasting friendships with my crew mates.