Prof. Howard Alper is currently spearheading the initiative by the former Governor General of Canada
(Head of State) to enhance global recognition for Canadian research excellence. He is Chair of the
Canvassing Committee for the initiative. He is also Distinguished University Professor at the University of
Ottawa. The basic research Alper has been pursuing spans organic and inorganic chemistry, with
potential applications in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and commodity chemical industries. He has
published 553 papers, has thirty-seven patents, and has edited several books.
Alper has received a number of prestigious Fellowships including the E.W.R. Steacie (Natural Sciences
and Engineering Research Council, 1980‑82), Guggenheim (1985‑86), and Killam (1986‑88) Fellowships.
Major awards to Alper include the Alcan Award for Inorganic Chemistry (1986), Bader Award for Organic
Chemistry (1990), Steacie Award for Chemistry (1993), all of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. The
Chemical Institute of Canada has presented Alper with the Catalysis Award (1984), the Montreal Medal
(2003), and the CIC Medal (1997), its highest honour. In 2000, he was awarded the Gerhard Herzberg
Canada gold medal in Science and Engineering, the highest honour to be given to a Canadian for
research in science and engineering.
Alper was appointed in 1996 as a Titular Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and
Humanities, and in 2003 as a member of TWAS-the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. He
was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999, and in 2002 he received the award of
Officer, National Order of Merit, by the President of the Republic of France. In 2014, Alper was selected
as a member of the highly prestigious Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.
Alper was named President of the Royal Society of Canada for a two-year term commencing 2001, and
was its Foreign Secretary from 2004-2010. In 2007, he was appointed inaugural Chair of the Government
of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) which provides advice to Cabinet and the
Prime Minister on science, technology and innovation issues, and the Council also issues a State of the
Nation reports benchmarking Canada’s performance on a global basis. He served as Chair for eight
years. He also represented Canada to the Carnegie group of science advisors to national leaders, and
was also a Chair of the group.