Fifty-five years after they became the first in the world to identify stem cells, Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch are now a must-see attraction at the Telus World of Science in Vancouver.
Artist Ruth Abernethy’s “portrait in bronze” of the two Canadian researchers was unveiled yesterday outside the main doors of the science centre. Within minutes, children were climbing the stools of the interactive artwork and clamouring to have their photos taken with the great men.
The work of art was commissioned by Dr. Allen Eaves, founder and CEO of STEMCELL Technologies Inc., Canada’s leading biotech company, to honour Till & McCulloch who are well known within the field as the Fathers of Stem Cell Science but virtually unknown to most Canadians. Dr. Eaves and his wife Dr. Connie Eaves, an internationally respected stem cell researcher, worked with Drs. Till and McCulloch decades ago at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto.
As Science World CEO Scott Sampson said in his address to the crowd that gathered at Science World, the tribute is a reflection of new-found Canadian pride in our country’s outstanding achievements in a number of fields.
A sister statue will be unveiled in Toronto in the spring of 2017.