The Top 5 Scientific Achievements by Canadians

Example of a content marketing blog post promoting interest in the STEM fields.​

Living next door to the United States isn’t always easy. It’s compared to a mouse sleeping with an elephant. Between the sheer size of their economy and population and the worldwide dominance of their cultural media, we tend to get overwhelmed.

We see this often in the sciences. After all, Americans have walked on the moon, and 120 Americans have won a Nobel Prize in one of the physical sciences. Even so, Canada has always punched well above its weight when it comes to scientific discoveries. Here are the top 5 breakthroughs that we should all learn more about and in which we can all take pride.

1. Discovery of Insulin: Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered that insulin could be used for the treatment of diabetes. They won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for this accomplishment in 1923. They saved countless lives and, perhaps most admirably, they waived their patent rights, choosing not to profit financially from their discovery.

2. Mapping the Visual Cortex: David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel determined the locations within the cerebral cortex that govern visual processing tasks. They won the Noel Prize for Medicine in 1981.

3. Genetically Modified Organisms: Michael Smith found a new way of creating mutations in living organisms. Smith found chemical techniques to prompt a specific genetic change by precisely changing any particular part of the DNA in a specimen. These techniques are now used around the world. Smith won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993.

4 Theory of Plate Tectonics: John Tuzo Wilson advanced the idea that the earth’s crust consists of floating plates in the 1970s. He explained that earthquakes result from these plates shifting or grinding together.

5. Development of Computerized Weather Forecasting Systems: Roger Daley was the first to create complex mathematical weather models. Computers can model the earth’s atmosphere in three dimensions along with time.

Remember, Canada has its share of Nobel Prizes. More importantly, it has made important discoveries that have advanced our humanity and the environment. Canadians have made the world a better place.

We need to do more to celebrate this and to give young Canadians role models that inspire them to pursue careers in STEM fields.

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