Professor James V. Zidek has been honoured by his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada, an appointment granted to those Canadians who make extraordinary contributions to the Nation. The honour recognizes Dr. Zidek's leadership and influence in the advancement and application of the statistical sciences in Canada and internationally. Throughout his career, Dr. Zidek has shaped the very foundations of statistics, developing cutting edge techniques in a range of areas including Bayesian decision analysis, monitoring network design, and spatial prediction. He has applied his techniques to a striking array of areas to improve the health, welfare, and environment of Canadians. His impact is felt through his ground-breaking research, through the generations of students he has trained and inspired, and through his many leadership roles in the statistics community and in policy, in Canada and internationally.
Canada is admired throughout the world for the excellence of its national statistics office and respected for the importance it places on evidence-based decision-making and policy formulation. Dr. Zidek’s work has contributed to this approach. He has pioneered new statistical methods that inform policies in a range of areas, from air pollution levels and the assessment of their adverse effects on health to setting standards of wood products. Because of his internationally respected expertise, Dr. Zidek has served on a number of scientific advisory committees.
Dr. Zidek has devoted much of his career to shaping statistical science in Canada as a discipline encompassing both theory and applied collaborative work. We see this in his founding and heading of the Statistics Department at the University of British Columbia, in his work at NSERC, in his input to Statistics Canada, and in his leadership and service in the Statistical Society of Canada.