Hamilton’s Doug Welch professor of astronomy received the McNeil Medal by the Royal Society of Canada.
The award is given to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding abilities to promote and communicate science to students and the public. Past winners included David Suzuki, Jay Ingrim and Bob McDonald.
According to a release from McMaster university “The award is a great honour,” said Welch who enjoys introducing the sky to everyone he meets. “There are so many people who have mentored me and shared my journey that I realize this is an award for them, too.”
Welch’s love of astronomy began in the mid-1960s, and he has been a professional stargazer for more than two decades. In that time, he has revived and directed the largest planetarium program in southern Ontario, which educates both the public and trains generations of new scientific explorers. He is the author of the successful children’s book Amazing Facts about Australia’s Southern Skies, now in its sixth printing, and is co-host of the popular Slacker Astronomy podcast (available on iTunes), collaborated on a museum art installation during the International Year of Astronomy 2009, and participates in many activities with amateur astronomers both to communicate science and to get them involved in research.
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