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The Royal Society of Canada (Société royale du Canada), now known as the RSC: Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada (SRC: Académies des Arts, des Lettres et des Sciences du Canada), is the oldest association of scientists and scholars in Canadamarker. The RSC is dedicated to encouraging education and the advancement of knowledge in the natural and social sciences and the humanities. It holds an annual conference together with other scholarly groups as part of the Congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (the "Learneds").


The Society was founded in 1882 by the Marquis of Lorne, who was then Governor General of Canada. Succeeding governors general have served as patrons of the Society. The founding members included Sir Sandford Fleming, the originator of the world system of Standard Time, and Sir William Osler, one of the great physicians of the century. The original Society was subsequently incorporated by an act of Parliament and granted its Royal Charter in 1883.

Organization and purpose

The Royal Society of Londonmarker and the Institut de Francemarker were the models for the Society. The Society today consists of approximately 1,800 Fellows: men and women from across Canadamarker who are selected by their peers on account of their outstanding contributions to the arts and sciences. The President of the Society serves on the Governor General's advisory council on appointments to the Order of Canada.

The Society is composed of three Academies:
  • The Academy of Arts and Humanities (Academy I)
  • The Academy of Social Sciences (Academy II)
  • The Academy of Science (Academy III).

The Society is dedicated to making its members' broad and varied knowledge available to the public and to evaluate and advise on social, cultural, economic and scientific issues for the benefit of Canada. The 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. Its purpose also includes fostering the highest levels of learning and research in all areas of scholarship and recognizing outstanding achievements in research and innovation by electing new Fellows and by awarding medals and prizes. The Society actively promotes international collaboration with other national academies. Discussion and consideration of important topics are carried out by the organization of annual symposia.


The Society awards twenty different awards on an annual or biennial basis. Some of these include:


Election to Fellowship in the Society is the highest academic accolade available to scientists and scholars in Canada. After their induction in the Society, Fellows may use the postnomial FRSC for Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Francophone Fellows use MSRC for Membre de la Société royale du Canada. The postnomial is usually not translated but is kept in the language of the Fellow.

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