Presumptuous title I know. But let’s face it: The average person has never thought to check out Felix d’Herelle.
More than just street names, these scientific minds stand on research guard for thee and are significant figures from our past. They’re people who ensured Canada was represented at the table of great ideas and contributions to history and mankind.
Here we go shall we?
From the first link titled, ‘Unsung Hero’:
“If Canadian radio archives do not contain as much material as they should, there is one historical event well documented - the achievement of Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian who made radio history by transmitting the letter “s” in Morse code from Cornwall, England to a receiving station on Signal Hill overlooking St. John’s Harbour in Newfoundland on December 12, 1901.
But an equally historic event, the achievement of a brilliant Canadian inventor, Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, is generally ignored and largely unknown. On December 24, 1906, at 9 P.M. eastern standard time, Reginald Fessenden transmitted human voices from Brant Rock near Boston, Massachusetts to several ships at sea owned by the United Fruit Company...”
Charles Huggins: The pride of beautiful Nova Scotia (and an American citizen), Huggins won the Noble Prize for Physiology/Medicine in 1966 “for discovering hormones that could be used to control the spread of some cancers...” (Wiki)
James Collip: Was a brilliant Biochemical researcher from Ontario before embarking on a great medical journey. While Banting and MacLeod are recognized as having discovered insulin (subsequently winning a Nobel prize), Collip along with Charles Best were unrecognized instrumental parts in the development process. Best and Banting were looking for ways to treat diabetes but couldn’t purify the (bovine) pancreatic extract. Collip was recruited by MacLeod to solve this problem and he succeeded in making insulin usable.
Simon Newcomb: Was a self-taught polymath with no formal training and a Canadian-American astronomer/mathematician originally born in Nova Scotia. “Newcomb set to work on the measurement of the position of the planets as an aid to navigation, becoming increasingly interested in theories of planetary motion.” (Wiki)
John Plaskett: Born in Ontario, Plaskett “…made significant contributions to the study of star pairs, known as binary stars…In 1922, he discovered a massive binary star system, which was the heaviest on record for many years - a discovery which gained him international respect as an astronomer.” (Canadian Astronomy Education)
Oswald Avery: Yet another native Nova Scotian, Avery later emigrated to the United States where the bulk of his work as a molecular biologist took place. He’s considered to be a pioneer in immunochemistry “but he is best known for his discovery in 1944 with his co-worker Maclyn McCarty that DNA is the material of which genes and chromosomes are made. Previously, hereditary information (genes) was thought to be stored in cells and in protein molecules.” (Bio-Medicine)
Felix d’Herelle - Like Newcomb d’Herelle was a self-taught individual and a microbiologist born in Montreal. He co-discovered bacteriophages.
Colin MacLeod - Born in Nova Scotia and a Canadian-American biologists, he’s recognized as the founder of molecular biology and researched the role of DNA in bacteria.
Norman Bowen - A native of Kingston, Ontario, Bowen helped to establish a discipline that brings together chemistry and geology known as petrology.
John Tuzo Wilson - From Ottawa, Wilson was a geophysicist who pioneered the study of plate tectonics and was internationally acclaimed for his work, theories and research.
Walter Zinn - Zinn was a physicist from Berlin, Ontario before it was renamed Kitchener during WWII. He worked with Enrico Fermi’s team on the Manhattan Project. “Zinn released the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear reaction by withdrawing a control rod from the world’s first nuclear reactor in 1942 at the University of Chicago.”
William Giauque - Though born in Niagara Fallas, Giauque is a Canadian-American who won the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1949 for his work on the properties matter at temperatures close to absolute zero or third law of thermodynamics.