Silver Named Science Champion at 2011 Discovery Awards

Danny Silver
Danny Silver

Acadia's Dr. Danny Silver, director of Acadia's Jodrey School of Computer Science, was named Science Champion at a recent Halifax gathering to celebrate the 9th Annual Discovery Awards for Science and Technology, which recognizes the outstanding achievements by Nova Scotians.

The Science Champion Award acknowledges the devotion of working scientists, technology professionals, or full time science teachers/professors in Nova Scotia to the promotion of science and technology to the public. The recipients of this award are role models who make science fascinating and accessible.

Silver is the driver behind the Acadia University Robot Programming Competitions.The competitions engage youth across Nova Scotia in developing teamwork, communication, problem solving, mathematics, design, engineering, and programming skills. He has assembled a team of over 80 volunteers to run the event and its supporters include NSCC, Michelin, RIM, EastLink, AVR, NSBI, Skills Canada, Labour and Workforce Development, NSERC (PromoScience Grant) and ACOA. Typically 160 students participate each year.

Other winners were announced in the following categories:

Professional of Distinction – Dr. Kenneth Lee is the Executive Director, Centre for Offshore Oil and Gas and Energy Research. 

Innovation– Elekta Atlantic is an initiative of the National Research Council (NRC), the IWK Health Centre and government and industry partners of Nova Scotia, formed under the direction of Dr. Ryan D’Arcy of the NRC-IBD (Atlantic). The company specializes in innovations and clinical solutions for the treatment of cancer and brain disorders.

Emerging Professional – Dr. Jill Chorney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anaesthesiology and Psychology at Dalhousie University, and is a psychologist at the IWK Health Centre Paediatric Complex Chronic Pain Service.  Her research and clinical practice in pain management is advancing the hospital and at-home care of children with chronic pain.

Dr. Donald Hebb (posthumous) and Dr. W. Ford Doolittle were this year’s Nova Scotia Science Hall of Fame inductees. Dr. Donald Hebb (1904-1985) has been described as the father of neuropsychology given his influential work understanding the development of neurons. The Hebbian theory that describes how neurons connect themselves through repeated firing is named after him. Dr. W. Ford Doolittle is one of the world’s premier evolutionary biologists. His pioneering DNA studies with the evolutionary ancient archaebacteria led to a fundamental re-evaluation of the so called “tree of life” as proposed by Darwin.

This year’s Youth Award recognized three outstanding individuals. Brandon Fillmore, a Grade 10 student at Bible Hill Junior High, was recognized for his project “L.B.S., a turn for the better”, which documented the development of the Lateral Balance System (L.B.S.) and its potential benefits for vehicle handling and safety. Megan Smith and Charlotte Donaldson, both students at Hants East Rural High School in Elmsdale, created a template board with an improved design for children requiring spinal rescues in aquatic situations.


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