With the passing of Professor Michael Bliss, media outlets across North America have written stories remarking on the significant impact of his life and scholarship.
The New York Times featured an article discussing Professor Bliss’ family life, contributions to scholarship and, at times, complex relationships with his peers. The Times article examined his 1982 book The Discovery of Insulin, and how Bliss used documents newly released by the University of Toronto to tell a far more complex story than had previously been written. He detailed the team effort that led to the discovery of insulin, and the contributions of Dr. Frederick Banting, Charles Best and J.J.R. Macleod.
In an article in the Toronto Star, colleagues and former students of Professor Bliss talked about his passion for telling Canadians the story of their country in a highly readable and compelling way. As Krista Slade, Executive Director of FAS Advancement at UofT, said in the story, “He was really passionate about the country and I think he made a real effort to get Canadians to think about our place in the world and to be quite proud of who we are.”
The National Post discussed his contributions to the study of Canadian business history. Although Bliss had moved to focus on medical history, the Post argues that his Northern Enterprise "stands the test of time and should be required reading for all those interested in the business future of Canada."
UofT News wrote an article discussing Professor Bliss’ role as a public intellectual. A professor at the University of Toronto from 1968-2006, Professor Robert Bothwell noted that, “If you asked people who was a U of T historian at that time, they would say, ‘Bliss.’”
A memorial for Professor Bliss is planned for the Saturday 23 September from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Massey College.