150+ Canadians Day 54: Ursula Franklin

Dr. Ursula Franklin contributed to peace in her work for disarmament, social justice, science policy and human rights.

“Peace is not the absence of war. It is the presence of justice and the absence of fear.”

As a Quaker, Ursula has been actively involved in work for peace and justice, international understanding, and issues related to women.  As an active member of the Voice of Women, and a member of its national council, she has been involved in many of the organization’s activities, from coordinating the collection of children’s teeth for strontium-90 radiation measurements in the early 1960s, to co- drafting submissions to the Senate inquiry into science policy.

German by birth, Canadian by nationality, Ursula’s energy and intellect have kept her in the forefront of these critical global issues for years.  By her actions, in support of, or in opposition to ideas and policies, she has changed the thinking, the assumptions, the directions of the lives of those who have welcomed her clarity, her honesty, her beautiful and often humorous language, her constant search for truth and her ability to share her knowledge with others

Apathy sets in when individuals, especially young people, feel that no one is listening to their concerns.”

As an example to protest the war in Iraq, Franklin led a parade of professors in full academic attire out of Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto when then-U.S.-President George W. Bush was honored with a doctor of law degree.

A Toronto high School, Ursula Franklin Academy, has been named in her honour.

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