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Canadian Science Writers’ Association founding member Joan Hollobon has died

28 May 2024 6:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The award-winning journalist was a trailblazer for women in the field.

Joan's 104th birthday party on January 20, 2024. Photo credit: Andy F. Visser-de Vries

Joan Hollobon, an award-winning journalist who was the medical reporter for The Globe and Mail from 1959 to 1985, died on April 3, 2024 in Toronto. She was 104.

Hollobon was a member of the Canadian Section, National Association of Science Writers (NASW), from 1961-1970. She was a founding member of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association (CSWA) in 1971, and was elected the first female president of the CSWA in 1975. Hollobon was honoured to be a Life Member of the CSWA (now SWCC) and the NASW.

A trail blazer for women in journalism, Hollobon covered the medicare crisis in Canada in 1962, the state of psychiatric patient care in 1967, and won the first Science in Society Journalism Award in 1973 for a series published in The Globe and Mail about the first sex change operation in Canada.

As a leading journalist in Canada, Hollobon also covered the funeral of President John F. Kennedy in Washington, DC, in November 1963, and Canada’s centennial celebrations at EXPO 67 in Montreal in 1967.

She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2019, weeks before her 100th birthday, in recognition for her outstanding contribution to science journalism and communication in Canada.

In 2022, the annual National Newspaper Awards named one of its’ awards the Joan Hollobon Award for Beat Reporting in her honour.

Born on the Isle of Wight in 1920, Hollobon immigrated to Canada in April 1952. She worked for two different newspapers in northern Ontario before she was hired by The Globe and Mail in Toronto in 1956, where she worked until her retirement in 1985.

A graveside gathering for Hollobon’s interment will be held June 17, 2024 at the Necropolis in Toronto, Canada.

By Andy F. Visser-deVries

Andy F. Visser-deVries served as Executive Director of The Canadian Science Writers’ Association from 1991-2004. He was first elected to the Board of The Canadian Science Writers’ Association in 2011, serving as Treasurer until 2017.


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