The Steacie Prize is named to honour the memory of Edgar William Richard Steacie, a physical chemist and former President of the National Research Council of Canada. It is supported from the income of the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fund which was established in 1963 through contributions from several hundred friends, associates and former colleagues of Dr. Steacie.
The winner is selected by a distinguished panel which is appointed annually by the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fund, a private foundation dedicated to the advancement of science and engineering in Canada.
The Steacie Prize is awarded to a young person 40 years of age or less who has made notable contributions to research in Canada. The average age of recipients of the Steacie Prize has been 38 years.
Because I work in a non-traditional field, the Steacie Prize was important to having paleolimnology recognized – within the scientific community — as a valid area of research.
Perhaps the greatest personal impact was the sense of self-worth that the Prize gave me. But connected to that was the delight I felt in seeing the great pride in people around me: those people who have supported my career and helped me to become a scientist. The Prize is a recognition of many efforts and I have used it in talking to other young scientists – mostly women – to illustrate the support system present in Canada and the rewards possible.
The Steacie Prize was a profound recognition of my work at a point in my career where such a recognition was especially important. It imbued me with a renewed optimism about what might be possible in the next phase of my research journey. As the first winner for research in the field of statistics, the prize not only shone a light on my research but also on the wonderful mosaic of statistics research in Canada.
Dr. Paul McNicholas
McMaster University, 2020