Pioneered research into chemical reactions and helped found university research programs in Canada
Steacie was educated at McGill University (BSc, 1923; PhD,1926) where he began his teaching career as well as conducting ground-breaking research in free radical chemistry. He extended his research into photochemistry and chemical kinetics after joining the NRC as Director of the Division of Chemistry in 1939. He played a leading role in British-Canadian collaboration in atomic energy, which led to the construction of the Chalk River reactor, the first to be built outside the USA. In 1950 Steacie became Vice-President of NRC, then president two years later. He is perhaps best known as an administrator and statesman of science for Canada, since he was very instrumental in building up university research in Canada and was the architect of enduring programs to support industrial innovation. Various awards have been established in his honour, including the Steacie Memorial Prize, which recognizes the achievements of young Canadian scientists.
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