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Meet Trudeau Fellow Joseph Heath

Catherine Dauvergne, Doug Harris, Maria Campbell, Ruby Heap, University of Toronto philosophy professor Joseph Heath, U of T's Cheryl Misak, Pierre-Gerlier Forest, U of T's Paul Young, Janine Marchessault, Robert Haché (photo by Jenna Muirhead)

U of T philosophy professor Joseph Heath is one of four Canadian scholars honoured with Trudeau Fellowships this year.

The fellowships are awarded annually from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation to individuals who set themselves apart through their research, creativity and their commitment to public issues of importance to Canada. Each Fellow receives $225,000, payable over three years.

Heath is also director of the Centre for Ethics at U of T and a professor at the School of Public Policy and Governance. He is a noted author of several books, both academic and popular. The Foundation noted that Heath has “an acute capacity to debunk widespread ideas on environmental, economic, social and political issues. The scholarly and mainstream works of Professor Heath engage Canadians to ask fundamental questions about our society and how to make it more just.”

“I am deeply thankful to the Trudeau Foundation for this fellowship and I am very enthusiastic about joining the Foundation’s community,” said Heath. “I have a particular interest in trying to sort out conceptual confusion through my research. One of the reasons that I got interested in economics is that it is an area where people fall victim to a lot of fallacies. Three of the popular books I’ve written or co-written, The Efficient Society, The Rebel Sell, and Filthy Lucre, are all an attempt to intervene in contemporary public debates and to help people to better understand the world that we live in. The Trudeau Fellowship will be extremely useful in enabling me to further this work.”

Also awarded Trudeau Fellowships were:

  • Maria Campbell (visiting Trudeau fellow), University of Ottawa: A prominent Métis cultural leader, Ms. Campbell has been volunteering for 40 years with Aboriginal children and women. During her fellowship, she will contribute to innovative research at the new Chair in Métis Studies at the University of Ottawa, aiming to help Canadians better understand Métis society, history and culture.
  • Catherine Dauvergne, University of British Columbia: One of Canada’s foremost authorities on refugee and immigration law, Professor Dauvergne is committed to transforming how Canada and other countries deal with refugees in a perspective of global justice.
  • Janine Marchessault, York University: Through her groundbreaking creative work and research, Professor Marchessault aims to interpret and illustrate the city and its sustainability issues, combining urban planning, public art and the media.

“These individuals will benefit from the support of the Foundation to pursue their work on issues of importance to our country, which they are exploring from a new and multidisciplinary angle,” said Trudeau Foundation President Dr. Pierre-Gerlier Forest. “They are outstanding scholars and they are committed to making a significant contribution to advancing knowledge on issues that are not necessarily well supported by other organizations.”

Professor Paul Young, vice-president (research and innovation) at U of T noted that the Trudeau Fellowships are particularly valuable in that “they enable leading scholars in the social sciences and humanities to explore so many of the challenges facing global society and help us understand the forces that affect our lives. Congratulations to the 2012 Trudeau Fellows and thanks to the foundation for its magnificent support of scholarship that has a direct impact on people.”

Since the Trudeau Fellowship Program began in 2002, the Foundation has named 46 Trudeau fellows upon the recommendation of an independent review panel. The Foundation considers candidates from all disciplines in the social sciences and humanities and all domains of the creative arts. It supports individuals active in one or more of four fields: human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada in the world, and people and their natural environment.