April 17, 2019

Accomplishments of Elizabeth Cannon celebrated during women in science and innovation event

Weizmann Canada event held in Western Canada for first time


University Relations Staff

President Emerita Elizabeth Cannon addresses the audience during the Celebrating Women in Science and Innovation event hosted by the Calgary Chapter of Weizmann Canada on April 11.

President Emerita Elizabeth Cannon addresses the audience during the event.

Jessica Wittman, thewitt.ca

University of Calgary President Emerita Elizabeth Cannon was honoured for her many achievements during a gala evening hosted by the Calgary Chapter of Weizmann Canada.

Dr. Cannon, PhD, spoke at the Celebrating Women in Science and Innovation event held in Calgary on April 11. She was honoured for leading the University of Calgary for over nine years, including launching the ambitious Eyes High strategy, and recognized for her earlier work as researcher at the forefront of Global Positioning (GPS).

“We want to support and encourage women in science, but even moreso focus on women reaching their individual potentials,” Cannon told the crowd. “They are not afraid of hard work. They are not afraid of being challenged. Women want to make an impact in the world.” 

The event also honoured Professor Irit Sagi, a Weizmann Institute of Science researcher and dean of the Feinberg Graduate School, who was the first researcher to reveal the complex molecular nature of human enzymes linked to cancer and autoimmune diseases. Both speakers took part in a question-and-answer session moderated by UCalgary Chancellor Deborah Yedlin, who was also a co-chair of the Calgary event.

“The event represents a unique opportunity to learn and network with inspiring and accomplished women,” says Yedlin. “Dr. Cannon and Professor Sagi are examples of women who have achieved not only great success in their careers and research, but who are also amazing role models for the next generation of young female scientists.”

Cannon served as the eighth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary from 2010 to 2018, during which time she led the university to become one of Canada’s most recognized hubs of teaching, learning, research and innovation. Prior to her time as president, she also served as dean of the Schulich School of Engineering, propelling it into the top ranks of Canadian engineering schools. An expert in geomatics engineering, Cannon has commercialized GPS technology to more than 200 agencies worldwide.

Part of the Wonderful Women series, the Celebrating Women in Science and Innovation event is dedicated to celebrating and empowering women and promoting their life-changing research. This is the first time this event has been hosted in Western Canada.

Proceeds raised from the event will help support the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science. The fellowship program supports women scientists as they pursue postdoctoral research abroad, providing financial support to enable their training at leading international laboratories.