In Memoriam: Thérèse Gouin Décarie

I wish to share the sad news that Professor Thérèse Gouin Décarie (1923-2024) has passed away on April 2nd. Professor Décarie was internationally known for her research on infant development and has been a leader in the establishment of the field of developmental psychology in Canada. Professor Gouin Décarie was trained as a researcher and practitioner in Montréal, Boston, and Paris. Her early career path typified that of many women in that she was simultaneously teaching at the Université de Montréal, raising four children, and pursuing her doctoral studies. Her doctoral thesis, published in English in 1965 (Intelligence and affectivity in young children) with a preface by Piaget, was a brilliant synthesis of Piagetian and Freudian theories. She is also known for her work on the mental and emotional development of children who were victims of thalidomide in 1963.  Dr. Gouin-Décarie’s impact as a scientist and educator is reflected in a partial list of the honours that she has received. She was a member of the Royal Society and an Officer of the Order of Canada. She was the first woman in the social sciences to be a member of the National Research Council; the first woman to receive the Marcel Vincent award for outstanding Québec scientists, and the first woman to receive the Prix du Québec Léon Gérin for a distinguished scientific career. At the ICIS meeting in Montréal in 1990, she was named a Distinguished Fellow of the International Society for Infant Studies, along with Mary Ainsworth. She received honorary doctorates from Concordia University, University of Ottawa and Université de Moncton. Those of us whose careers have directly benefitted from Dr. Gouin-Décarie’s pioneering efforts are particularly grateful to her for her leadership and generosity and for the role model that she has provided. Read her full obituary here

Contributed by
Diane Poulin Dubois
Concordia University

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