The bilingual logo for Defining Moments Canada

Bilingual logo for Defining Moments Canada

Logo: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Canada

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, April 1, 2022 / -- As part of a national initiative to mark the 50th anniversary of Gerhard Herzberg’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry, heritage education organization Defining Moments Canada (DMC), in cooperation with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of German in Canada, is excited to present the travelling exhibit Enterprises of the Human Spirit: 50 Years of Scientific Excellence in Germany and Canada.

The exhibit, which will tour across Canada over the next year, celebrates the work and life of Herzberg, a passionate and outspoken scientist who believed strongly in the value of basic research and international research collaboration. It also highlights Canada’s many important research collaborations that continue today with research partners in Germany. The exhibit will be on display in:

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Sask. - 11 April 2022 - 5 May 2022
McGill University, Montreal, Que. - 19 May 2022 - 7 June 2022
Centre of the Universe, Victoria, BC – July – August 2022 (firm dates TBD)
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ont. - 1 September 2022 - 24 September 2022*
Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS - 2 October 2022 - 22 October 2022*
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont. - 30 October 2022 - 18 November 2022*
Western University, London, Ont. – 25 November 2022 – 10 December 2022
Western Development Museums, Saskatchewan – 2023 (firm dates TBD)

“Science is the engine of the progress and prosperity of our societies. Canada and Germany completely agree and act on this; we have established a bilateral scientific cooperation second to none. Research and investment into science must not be utilitarian, it must be broad, open, we have to pursue it - to quote Gerhard Herzberg - “because it is knowledge, because it broadens our horizons. There is so much more to be discovered.”
– German Ambassador Sparwasser

In 1971, German-Canadian scientist Gerhard Herzberg received the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his contributions to molecular spectroscopy. Gerhard and his wife Luise were able to flee Nazi Germany in 1935 and settle in Canada where Herzberg would spend next decade at the University of Saskatchewan developing the fundamental research that would later earn him his Nobel Prize. After his career took him to the National Research Council, Herzberg continued to use his influence to advocate for basic research and to support the work and development of bright young scientists.

1971 also marked the inauguration of the German Canadian Intergovernmental Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (S&T Agreement), a landmark collaboration. The exhibit celebrates 50 years of German-Canadian collaboration in scientific and technological research, highlighting the scientific excellence of many joint projects in the fields of health and medicine, physics, climate sciences, and green energy. Collaboration is a recurrent theme throughout the exhibit, seen in both Herzberg’s story as well as the history and legacy of the S&T Agreement. Defining Moments Canada and the German Embassy are excited to illuminate these landmark anniversaries and commemorate the impact of both Herzberg’s Nobel Prize and the 1971 science and technology agreement on research in Canada through the last 50 years.

“We are thrilled to share Enterprises of the Human Spirit with so many leading Canadian institutions which have a history of successful collaboration with German institutions. The half-century of research cooperation between our two countries is an exemplary international model, and speaks to the spirit and legacy of Dr. Herzberg. Defining Moments Canada champions untold stories and this travelling exhibition showcases groundbreaking scientific accomplishments which will impact our future for future generations to come.”
- Neil Orford, President Defining Moments Canada

Defining Moments Canada is offering additional resources and educational material to educators and students through the digital Herzberg50 and NobelCanadian projects, which can be explored at A deeper account of Herzberg’s life is available as an interactive story map, as well as interviews with some of Herzberg’s former research fellows.

The exhibit will have free admission at all locations. For more information about visiting or hosting the exhibit, contact or visit DMC’s website.

Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada is a digital heritage and education company, leading innovative educational engagement and the commemoration of Canada’s history using 21st century tools and storytelling skills. It has previously carried out national commemorations surrounding the 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic in Canada, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Insulin, and the 75th anniversary of VEDay. In 2021, Defining Moments Canada launched ‘Herzberg50’ to honour Dr. Gerhard Herzberg’s 1971 Nobel Prize award in Chemistry, a project which will transition into the ‘NobelCanadian’ commemorative project in 2022.

Jenifer Terry
Defining Moments Canada

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