The International Personality Award is conferred by CÉRIUM to a resident of Quebec whose recent engagement with international activities is noteworthy. The laureate is rewarded for his or her remarkable contribution to his or her domain, to Quebec’s influence in the world, or toward a better understanding of the world.

Dr. Jacques Pépin
Infectious Disease Specialist – Sherbrooke University. International Personality Award laureate, 2012.

Dr. Pépin has been conducting research on HIV infections in Africa as well as their interaction with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) since 1988. In 2011, he published a book entitled The Origins of AIDS (Cambridge University Press), which backtracks to the early days of HIV, revealing that the first known cases of AIDS in humans appeared in Africa, toward the beginning of the 20th century. This explanation as to the origins of the virus throws new light upon the spread of AIDS, where human error is at the source of the largest pandemic of the century.

Article in Le Devoir
Article in Forum
Interview with Dr. Jacques Pépin – Planète Terre

Denis Villeneuve
Quebec Filmmaker. International Personality Award laureate, 2011.

The production of and international acclaim won by Incendies has established beyond doubt that Quebec culture is not only present throughout the world, but that it can portray the latter in an original and universal fashion.

Denis Villeneuve’s video reaction to the award

Dany Laferrière
Author, Screenwriter, Intellectual. International Personality Award laureate, 2010.

Dany Laferrière, born Windsor Klébert Laferrière, is a Canadian author, screenwriter and intellectual. A native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, today he divides his time between Montreal and Miami. His written works are of an autobiographical flavour. In 2009, he won the Prix Médicis for his novel L’Énigme du retour.

In 2009, M. Laferrière won a second major prize: the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal. In 2010, La Presse named him “Personality of the Year” and he was awarded the Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prize.

Article in La Presse
Interview — Téléjournal (Radio-Canada)
Interview withc Mr. Laferrière and Mr. Gérin-Lajoie — Planète Terre

Claude Carignan
Retired Physics Professor, Department of Physics, University of Montreal. Internationalist of the Year, 2009.

Claude Carignan, a dark matter specialist, created an astrophysics program (based on the program at the University of Montreal) at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. At the same time, with the help of Luc Turbide, an information systems administrator at the Department of Physics (UofM), he enabled the installation of the first astronomical observatory in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Interview with Mr. Carignan — Planète Terre