On Display: The Real Worlds of Ursula Martius Franklin

Where: Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

When: June 2015

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library honors Dr. Ursula Martius Franklin, Massey College Senior Fellow. Her work is featured during the month of June 2015.

Dr. Franklin was a metallurgist, research physicist, feminist, peace activist, author and educator.

The display, curated by Karen Suurtamm, archivist at the University of Toronto Archives, highlights just some of the many facets of Dr. Franklin’s life and work, including:

  • Her commitment to feminism
  • Her work with ancient materials and pioneering work in archaeometry
  • Her efforts to promote peace at home and abroad
  • Her insistence on the social responsibility of the scientist
  • Her 1989 Massey Lectures: The Real World of Technology

Dr. Franklin received her PhD in experimental physics at the Technical University of Berlin, after she and her parents survived the holocaust. She arrived in Toronto in 1948 to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto and worked as a senior scientist at the Ontario Research Foundation (1952-1967). She became the first female professor in UofT’s Faculty of Engineering in 1967. In 1984, she was the first woman to be named University Professor at the U of T, a prestigious honour granted only to faculty of the highest standing. She has received more than 25 honorary degrees and countless awards and medals, including The Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case and the Pearson Medal of Peace. She was inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame in 2012.

The University of Toronto Archives recently acquired the second half of Prof. Franklin’s archival papers.  They will be available to researchers in 2016.

To listen to an audio clip narrated by Karen Suurtamm on this exhibition, please click here.

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