Iconic Canadian scientist to be recognized for excellence at fundraiser gala
September 26, 2017
Dr. Philip J. Currie accepts the Romer-Simpson Medal.
Photo credit: ReBecca Hunt-Foster
The museum bearing the name of internationally-renowned Canadian palaeontologist Dr. Philip J. Currie will celebrate his recent receipt of the prestigious Romer-Simpson Medal, at A Night for the Museum on Saturday, September 30, 2017 in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
“I was under a lucky star,” said Currie during his acceptance speech of the medal at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s annual meeting held in Calgary on August 26. “This was exactly what I wanted to do and trained for since I was a kid.”
Recognized for his outstanding and continual work on theropod (meat-eating) dinosaurs throughout his career, Currie’s work has taken him to six continents around the world, including Antarctica. His work has also brought him into the public eye where he has popularized dinosaur science for over 30 years. His published works include more than 250 scientific articles, over 150 popular articles, and 20 books.
“We are very grateful for Dr. Currie’s immense contribution to Canadian palaeontology, and very excited to honour him at this year’s event,” said Linda Side, the museum’s board chair and event organizer.
First hired by the Provincial Museum of Alberta (now the Royal Alberta Museum) in 1976, Currie has played an integral role in developing vertebrate palaeontology in Alberta, including the construction of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, the Dinosaur Visitor Centre and Research Station at Dinosaur Provincial Park, and the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Wembley. He continues an active research program, training the next generation of palaeontologists at the University of Alberta where he led development of the massive open online course Dino 101 and reached more than 100,000 students.
“Phil has been an inspiration to several generations of dinosaur researchers,” said Derek Larson, the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum’s assistant curator and former Currie student. “The work he’s done and continues to do is on the cutting edge of dinosaur research and has really shaped the field into where we are today.”
The Romer-Simpson Medal is the highest honour awarded by Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, and is named for the Society’s founder members Alfred Sherwood Romer and George Gaylord Simpson, icons in vertebrate palaeontology.
A Night for the Museum is the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum’s annual fundraiser gala. This year’s event, held on September 30, 2017, will feature a social gourmet dining experience complete with live music and entertainment, fundraising opportunities such as a silent auction, in addition to a short speech from Currie and other museum stakeholders.
The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum – a 41,000 square foot world-class facility named for Canada’s preeminent palaeontologist and highlighting the rich fossil resources of Northern Alberta – opened its doors to the public on September 26, 2015. It is Canada’s second devoted dinosaur museum, and is located 19 kilometres west of the City of Grande Prairie in the Town of Wembley.
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