Unexpected Opportunities: Mark Lautens
November 24, 2017
Professor Mark Lautens was invested into the Order of Canada in November, 2015. He was recently asked to share his experience since being named an Officer.
It goes without saying that the Order of Canada is a singular honour and receiving it brings not only joy but also the feeling that you should continue to do your best to uphold the motto DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (They desire a better country). Much of the time, you wear your snowflake [pin] and go unnoticed, but occasionally someone congratulates you for no apparent reason and then points at the pin! It is a wonderful feeling that often leads to a short conversation about the nature of your contribution—which is not easy when you are a chemist.
An entirely unexpected bonus to receiving the Order came in the form of an invitation to preside over citizenship ceremonies. With some trepidation, I agreed and attended my first ceremony with a bona fide judge leading the event. I was intrigued by her story of her arrival in Canada and subsequent journey that led her to her place on the podium.