|The Royal Society of Canada|
|Abbreviation||RSC / SRC|
|Purpose/focus||To promote Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment in both official languages, to recognize academic and artistic excellence and to advise governments, non-governmental organizations and Canadians on matters of public interest.|
|Headquarters||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
The Royal Society of Canada (La Société royale du Canada) also known as RSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada (SRC : Les Académies des arts, des lettres et des sciences du Canada) is the senior national, bilingual body of distinguished Canadian scholars, humanists, scientists and artists. The primary objective of the RSC is to promote learning and research in the arts, the humanities and the sciences. The RSC is Canada’s National Academy and exists to promote Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment in both official languages, to recognize academic and artistic excellence, and to advise governments, non-governmental organizations and Canadians on matters of public interest. 
In the late 1870s, the Governor General of Canada, the Marquis of Lorne, determined that Canada required a cultural institution to promote national scientific research and development. Since that time, succeeding Governors General have remained closely involved with the affairs of the Society. In 1882 the Royal Society of Canada was founded under the personal patronage of the Marquis of Lorne. A year later, in 1883, the Society was incorporated by a statute of the Parliament of Canada. In 2010, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Lloyd Johnston, Governor General of Canada, was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Society.
From its founding in 1883 into the early 1900s, the structure of the RSC followed the model of the Royal Society of London but with the important addition of literature and other elements found in the Institut de France. Like their counterparts, membership to the RSC was limited and by election. Initially, the RSC was divided into four sections, each of 20 Fellows. These sections were: (1) Littérature française, Histoire, Archéologie; (2) English Literature, History, Archaeology; (3) Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences; and (4) Geological and Biological Sciences. The founding Fellows of the RSC included Sir Sandford Fleming, the originator of the world system of Standard Time, and Sir William Osler, one of the greatest physicians of his day. The Fellows of the RSC were nominated by a committee headed by the Principal of McGill University, Sir John William Dawson, and by the former Premier of Québec, Pierre Chauveau. These two men served as the first and second Presidents of the Society.
As Canadian scholarship and research blossomed, the RSC also grew. Within three decades the fellowship of the RSC doubled in number. After several phases of restructuring, the RSC evolved into the contemporary organization that it is today.
The Royal Society of Canada currently consists of over 2 000 Fellows: men and women from all branches of learning who have made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life. Today, the fellowship comprises four categories: Regularly Elected Fellows, Specially Elected Fellows, Foreign Fellows and Honorary Fellows.
Each year, approximately 80 outstanding individuals are elected to the fellowship. This cohort includes approximately 75 Regularly Elected Fellows recommended by the Divisions; up to six Specially Elected Fellows; up to four Foreign Fellows; and a maximum of one Honorary Fellow.
Election to fellowship in the Society is the highest accolade available to scientists, artists and scholars in Canada. Once inducted into the Society, Anglophone Fellows may use the post-nomial FRSC (Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada) and Francophone Fellows may use MSRC (Membre de la Société royale du Canada). The RSC is composed of three bilingual Academies, embracing a broad range of scholarly disciplines and artistic fields.
Academy I is the Academy of Arts and Humanities. There are three divisions of Academy I: an Anglophone Division (I) - Humanities; a Francophone division (II) – Lettres et sciences humaines; and a bilingual division for the Arts (III) – The Arts/Les Arts; embracing architecture, creative writing and the arts.
Academy II is the Academy of Social Sciences. There are two divisions of Academy II: an Anglophone division (I) – Social Sciences; and a Francophone division (II) – Sciences sociales.
Academy III is the Academy of Science. There are four bilingual divisions of Academy III: (I) - Applied Sciences and Engineering; (II) - Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences; (III) - Life Sciences; and (IV) - Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
The Society is dedicated to making its members’ broad and varied knowledge available to the public. Members are available to assess issues of value to Canadians and provide independent expert advice, notably to government on matters of public policy through its program of Expert Panel reports.
The RSC officially launched the Institutional Member (IM) Programme in 2004. The goal was to provide a mechanism by which, on the one hand, the Society could develop its programmes in conjunction with Canadian universities, and on the other hand, universities could have formal and direct input into the strategic organization and governance of the Society. This closer relationship facilitates the nomination of new Fellows from all Canadian universities, and provides a home for the Society to sponsor scholarly activities at institutions of all sizes across Canada. Today 46 universities and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) are Institutional Members of the Society.
The RSC recognizes outstanding achievements in research and innovation by awarding medals and prizes. Twenty Society awards are offered on an annual or biennial basis and consist of either medals or certificates, some of them with cash prizes. These awards are as follows:
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