Ford Doolittle wins $1M Herzberg Medal

Network Node: 
Tue., Mar. 18, 2014, 8:00pm

Congratulations to Atlantic Node manager Ford Doolittle for winning the NSERC Herzberg Medal for "sustained excellence and influence" in Canadian research that has "substantially advanced" science or engineering for his work in molecular genetics, including the study of lateral gene transfer, a key driver of microbial evolution. His work stands on the shoulders of philosophy and biology and he'll touch on each in his future prize-funded work.

Quotes from Ford:

“The linking of DNA to realizable products means we [as scientists] have to claim we know what we’re doing even when we don‘t,” he said. “It forces us to be non-critical and hype-ish about the way we present work that might possibly have commercial benefit.”

"What I've done has always been extremely basic research, without any obvious immediate application whatsoever," he said.

"How [do] you show that something has no function?" he mused. "It's quite difficult."

Here are a few links to news articles announcing the good news:


CBC Quirks and Quarks:

Globe and Mail:


Dal News:

Metro News:


NSERC Video with Ford:

Situating Science interview with Ford: