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Environmental & Resource Science

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School of the Environment

Environmental & Resource Science

Dr. Stephen Bocking to Receive 2017/18 Distinguished Research Award

Trent School of the Environment professor to be honoured at June convocation ceremony

Dr. Stephen Bocking – whose pioneering and internationally-recognized research has contributed to the fields of environment history, the study of Canada’s North, the history of science and environmental politics – will be honoured at this year’s Trent University Convocation with the 2017/18 Distinguished Research Award.

“The fields of environmental history, environmental politics, and the implications of science in society are all better understood thanks to Dr. Bocking’s impressive research,” said Dr. Neil Emery, vice-president of Research and Innovation at Trent. “We congratulate him on this award and are thankful he’s part of Trent’s research and teaching community.”

Professor Bocking, the founding director of Trent’s School of the Environment, was lauded by nominators as an outstanding researcher, role model and mentor who enjoys sharing his timely research with the public as well as offering leading-edge courses that are challenging and popular with students.

“He has a long track record of top-notch research on some of the most timely subjects at the crossroads of the history of science and environmental history,” one nominator said. Another nominator noted: “Far from an ivory tower academic, Stephen has taught me that good research is rigorous, engaged, and oriented towards making change.”

Prof. Bocking’s research focuses on the role and implications of science in society. His chief research areas include environmental history such as the history and politics of science in the salmon farming industry and the global history of science-based nature conservation.

Understanding how scientists operate in political settings is also a key research area as he aims to understand how expert knowledge is used (and sometimes not used) in politics and how it can be used more effectively. Prof. Bocking has participated in a U.S.-based project tracking the impacts of the Trump administration on environmental and science policy.

Prof. Bocking has presented 141 papers or talks at venues such as academic conferences, both nationally and internationally, including in Japan, Norway, Sweden and India. His research has been published in 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters with respected publishers such as Yale University Press and Rutgers University Press.

Described as humble, gracious and intellectually curious, Prof. Bocking is also known for keeping the public abreast of his research through a popular blog: http://environmental-history-science.blogspot.ca/  

“He was (and remains) intellectually curious, leading him to treat even the most junior scholars as equals, and he thrives on scholarly conversation across all ranks and across multiple cultures and languages,” a nominator said.

In response to the honour, Prof. Bocking said,

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award, especially considering the remarkable colleagues who have received it in the past. I'm really grateful that Trent University, and especially the Trent School of the Environment, has consistently provided such a congenial and delightful working environment, always welcoming and often inspiring my interests in interdisciplinary research and teaching.”

Established in 1986, the Distinguished Research Award is given annually to a member of Trent’s faculty in recognition of outstanding achievement in research and scholarship. Prof. Bocking will be presented with the award at Trent University’s Convocation ceremony in June.

Posted on May 10, 2018