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Peter Calamai spent almost five decades as a newspaper reporter and editor working for major Canadian newspapers. He obtained a B.Sc. in physics from McMaster University in 1965, and while a student, he was editor-in-chief of the undergraduate student newspaper The Silhouette during which it was named the best student newspaper in Canada. Calamai remains involved in McMaster’s alumni community.
Best known for his award-winning 1987 adult literacy series, Calamai has worked on a number of high-profile stories in Washington, Europe, Africa, and Ottawa; he has worked as national and foreign correspondents for Southam News (1969-1990), editorial pages editor at The Ottawa Citizen (1990-1996), and national science reporter at the Toronto Star (1998-2008). Calamai has also worked as a freelance reporter, photographer, consultant, speech writer, and instructor.
An advocate for science, literacy, and journalistic professionalism, Calamai has been nationally recognized for his involvement in public issues and exceptional news reporting and writing through his Order of Canada (2014) and Diamond Jubilee Medal, among numerous other awards. Remaining dedicated to the promotion of accurate science reporting, he is a founding member of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association and the Science Media Centre of Canada.
Calamai passed away at the age of 75, in January 2019.