Dr. Mary Anne White
For Leadership, Commitment, and Excellence
in Communicating Science to the General Public
Dr. Mary Anne White received her B.Sc. in Honours Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario (London, Canada)
and her PhD in Chemistry from McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada). She held a postdoctoral fellowship at Oxford
University, and then was an NSERC University Research Fellow at University of Waterloo.
In 1983 she moved to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she is now Killam Research Professor
in Materials Science, as well as Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Physics, and Director of the newly founded
Institute for Research in Materials. Her research interests centre on thermal properties of materials, especially where
dynamical disorder is involved. This includes thermal stability, phase transitions, thermal conductivity and thermal
expansion, ranging from fundamental approaches to applications as diverse as heat storage materials, thermoelectrics
for solid state cooling, and separation science.
Mary Anne has published more than 100 papers and also a textbook, “Properties of Materials,” which is widely used both
in Canada and internationally. She has served as Editor for the Canadian Journal of Chemistry, and currently is Editor
for Materials Science for the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology.
Mary Anne is a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and Fellow of IUPAC. She is a recipient of the international
Stig Sunner Award of the Calorimetry Conference and of the national Noranda Award for distinguished contributions in
In addition to these research awards, she has received several teaching awards, notably the Dalhousie University Faculty
of Science Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Dalhousie Alumni Association Award for Teaching Excellence and the
national Union Carbide Award for Chemical Education.
Mary Anne has been involved with many national and international scientific groups, including NSERC, the Canadian Society
for Chemistry, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, IUPAC and the International Council on Materials Education. Recently,
she has led a successful $12 million grant primarily for materials characterization facilities at the Institute for
Research in Materials at Dalhousie University; this facility will be used by more than 70 research groups at Dalhousie
University and by industry and others in the Atlantic region.
One of Mary Anne’s main “outside” interests is in bringing science to the general public, through writing, school visits,
television appearances (Discovery Channel), radio contributions (Maritime Noon and Quirks & Quarks) and helping establish
the Discovery Centre, an interactive science centre in Halifax. Recently, she was inducted in the Discovery Centre’s
Science and Technology Hall of Fame.
For Engaging the Public in the Excitement of Science and Technology
and its Relevance in Everyday Life
Rob North has been a journalist with CBC Radio and Television for 25 years. He started his career in his home town of
Sydney, Nova Scotia, and has since been based in Edmonton, Regina, and Halifax. From those centers he has covered stories
throughout Canada and in many parts of the United States.
Rob has a B.A. in Political Science and English, as well as a B.Ed. from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish.
He also studied agricultural technology at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.
Throughout his media career as reporter and story teller, Rob has maintained an interest in the science behind stories,
leading him to cover, among other events, a killer tornado in Edmonton, a severe drought on the Great Plains, and the
sinking of the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Rob has also worked extensively in covering issues that involve the military
and labour relations.
In addition to his work as a journalist, Rob maintains an interest Adult Education, with a special interest in media
Rob’s most recent major assignment involving coverage of scientific issues included eight days aboard the Coast Guard
science ship "Hudson". A scientific team on board was carrying out a range of experiments off Sable Island and along
the edge of the continental shelf. This work was going on at the same time Hurricane Juan struck Halifax.
Rob, his wife Barbara, and their two children, Rebecca and Adam, live in Dartmouth.
gratefully acknowledges the support of Canpolar East Inc.