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Very rubin observatory, Credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA

Turok elected to Royal Society of Canada

account_circle By Colin Hunter
Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok has been elected a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society of Canada.

In recognition of his pioneering research in cosmology and his efforts to advance science both in Canada and worldwide, Perimeter Director Neil Turok has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada.

Neil Turok, Perimeter Institute's Director, wins Tate Medal from the American Institute of Physics
Perimeter Director Neil Turok

Fellows of the Royal Society are “peer-selected as the best in their field,” in areas spanning science, the arts, and Canadian public life. 

Turok’s election acknowledges not only his groundbreaking work on early-universe cosmology, but also his dedication to sharing the power of science globally through education and outreach.

“I am thrilled to be counted among the Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada,” said Turok. “It is a privilege to live in Canada and to contribute in some small way to the intellectual life of this great country.” 

As Director of Perimeter Institute since 2008, Turok has helped bring many of the top talents in theoretical physics to Canada, and enhanced Perimeter’s ongoing efforts to educate and inspire young scientists and the general public. 

His own research is centred on perhaps the deepest question in science: how the universe began. With Stephen Hawking, he described the birth of open inflationary universes and, with Paul Steinhardt, he developed a cyclic model of cosmology (described in their co-authored book Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang). 

His founding of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) has created unprecedented opportunities for the brightest young minds in his home continent, with the hope of nurturing the “next Einstein” in Africa.

Turok earned national acclaim in 2012 for delivering the Massey Lectures, a coast-to-coast speaking tour broadcast on CBC Radio. The companion book, The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos, went on to win Canada’s top prize for popular science writing, the Lane Anderson Award. 

Turok was nominated by several of the world’s top physicists for election to the Royal Society of Canada, which has celebrated the work of exceptional Canadians for the past 130 years. 

Raymond Laflamme, Director of the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing and himself a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, called Turok “an outstanding scientist whose societal impact cannot be underestimated.

“He has had impact not only in his scientific endeavours,” said Laflamme, “but also as a leader at Perimeter Institute, where he has built Canada’s global reputation in physics.”

Turok and the other new Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada will be honoured during a special ceremony in Quebec City on Nov. 22.

About PI

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. 

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