Ladies and gentlemen of the Society, guests—when Janine Caira, chair of the Henry Baldwin Ward Medal Committee, invited me to introduce this year's medallist, Dr. John Robert Barta, I accepted with pleasure.

Before describing Dr. Barta's impressive professional achievements, in order to better understand the man, I would like to share with you some little known information about his formative years. John was born in 1962, in Oshawa, Ontario.

He was a curious and mischievous kid who showed a keen interest in nature. He collected many things ranging from rocks to butterflies and even charted the migration of birds. His compulsive collecting occasionally caused annoyance to his neighbors, parents, and siblings. Once he captured a rather large turtle, which he proudly displayed to his little sister, Jane, who, while observing the animal thrust in her face, received a nasty bite on her nose. John was introduced to the art of...

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