Leading McGill scholars celebrated for sharing their work with the media

A scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McGill University, Dr. Jesse Papenburg, is one of the 2022 winners of the Principal’s Prize for Public Engagement through Media announced by McGill Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier. He was selected for the prize in the category of “Emerging Researcher: Sharing the science behind COVID-19” for his ongoing presence in social and traditional media, providing information on the science behind COVID-19 and the uncertainties of school attendance for children.

The awards jury commended Dr. Papenburg for having established himself in a short period as one of the foremost experts in pediatric infectious disease. At the RI-MUHC, he is a member of the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program and conducts research at the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation.

As a pediatric researcher, Dr. Papenburg considers it essential to engage in meaningful ways with the media and with the public.

“I try to say yes to as many opportunities as possible to discuss pediatric infections in the media,” says Dr. Papenburg. “Facebook live events organized by reputable groups have also been a fantastic way to engage directly with families and answer their questions, especially during the pandemic. During interviews with traditional media, I always keep in mind that my audience is not the interviewer, but rather parents that want to make informed decisions about their child’s health. My goal is to deliver clear messages about what the science can tell us, and also about what uncertainties may still exist.”

Now in its sixth year, the Principal’s Prize recognizes exceptional McGill scholars who share their knowledge with the media and the public, whether about sustainability, politics, music, science and engineering or, in recent years, COVID-19. The 2022 prizes were awarded at a ceremony on April 29 at the McGill Faculty Club.

Learn more about the Principal’s Prize for Public Engagement through Media on the McGill website.

May 4, 2022