Prof. Tim Caulfield named to Order of Canada

Appointment recognizes contributions to fighting infodemic

Sarah Kent - 06 January 2023

Professor Tim Caulfield of the University of Alberta Faculty of Law has been awarded one of Canada’s highest honours in recognition of his extraordinary work fighting misinformation.

On December 29, he was named a member of the Order of Canada.

“It was a total surprise,” says Caulfield. “And it brings on a bit of imposter syndrome!”

Caulfield is one of 65 new members announced by Governor General Mary Simon. The appointment recognizes trailblazers, innovators and changemakers whose contributions have made a positive impact on Canadian society. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Caulfield has been busy battling misinformation and debunking junk science on social media. 

In 2020, he collaborated with MediaSmarts to create “Check then Share,” a social media campaign that educates Canadians about how to fact check before hitting share.

In 2021, he launched the social media campaign #ScienceUpFirst with Senator Stan Kutcher to push back against the spread of misinformation. 

His expertise was also called upon for the Royal Society of Canada’s Task Force on COVID-19, a group mandated with supporting Canada’s response to and recovery from the pandemic.

Yet even before the pandemic, Caulfield was internationally renowned for his efforts fighting pseudoscience and making science accessible to the public. In addition to hundreds of academic articles, he is the author of bestsellers, The Cure for Everything and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?.

His most recent book, ​​Relax, Dammit, published in 2020, focuses on the daily onslaught of misinformation that leaves people worrying about the wrong things. It was the winner of the 2021 Science Writers and Communicators of Canada Book Award and the 2021 Alberta Literary Awards' Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction.

Caulfield will be conferred his Order of Canada insignia at a ceremony held at a later date.

“This award really reflects the luck I've had to work with so many amazing colleagues. I feel fortunate I landed at the University of Alberta. The Faculty of Law has always been tremendously supportive,” says Caulfield.

“Not sure every institution would tolerate my unusual career path! Deeply grateful.”