Campus News

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News Release

June 26, 2001

U of G Professor named to Royal Society of Canada

University of Guelph philosophy professor John McMurtry has been elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada is considered Canada's senior academic accolade. Scholars selected for the honour are those the society believe have had a “profound impact” on sciences and humanities in Canada.

“I am particularly honoured by my election to the Royal Society of Canada since deep-structural social philosophy – what I have specialized in – has been a forbidden subject around the world for 2,500 years,” McMurtry said. “In recent policy-leading reports on tobacco use and genetically modified organisms, the Royal Society has shown what it stands for in our mounting world crisis – resolute leadership in the advancement and dissemination of knowledge of life-and-death importance. I hope I can assist in furthering this vocation of the humanities and the sciences, and the university.”

In a citation, the Royal Society recognized McMurtry for his contributions to social philosophy, calling him a “pioneer” in the field. It said his research has improved both academic and public understanding into unexamined areas that oppress human and environmental life. These include decision-excluding education, violent sport as a social paradigm, sexuality as a property-structure, mechanistic Marxism, the denial of children's personhood, the military paradigm of war, zero-sum competition, the global market as a life-blind value system, and the transcultural logic of censorship. The Royal Society also noted that McMurtry’s work has aided other’s research projects and the formation of public policy.

McMurtry joined U of G’s philosophy department as a lecturer in 1970. He earned his doctorate from University College, University of London. Before entering academia, he was a professional football player, print and television journalist, world traveller and English teacher. Most recently, McMurtry has focused his studies and research on the value structure of economic theory and its consequences for global civil and environmental life. He also is known for his work in the philosophies of politics, economics, education, literature, history and the environment. His research has been published in more than 150 books and journals.

“This is a wonderful and well-deserved mark of recognition for Prof. McMurtry,” said Maureen Mancuso, acting vice-president (academic). “During his distinguished career, he has always pursued excellence through his research and teaching. The entire University community is delighted that he has received this prestigious honour.”

McMurtry will be formally inducted into the society at a ceremony in Ottawa in November. Since its inception 119 years ago, the Royal Society of Canada has been regarded as a force for the enrichment, interpretation and strengthening of Canada's intellectual heritage. Its mandate is the promotion and development of learning and research in the arts and sciences

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