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Jean Laponce

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About Jean Laponce

Professor Emeritus Jean Laponce joined UBC in 1956 as the university’s first full-time political scientist. He directed the UBC political science honours program from the 1960s until his retirement in the early 1990s. Jean left an indelible mark not only on the university, but also on the broader political science community. He passed away on November 28, 2016.

The impact of your support

The Jean Laponce Prize has been created at UBC by friends and family, and will be awarded on an annual basis in Jean’s memory.

Messages of remembrance

Jean Laponce was a unique teacher whose broad notions of what kinds of questions are worth asking was a huge influence on me. His seminars created an intimate family of inquiry in our small group of honours students, and I am forever grateful to him for that rich experience of what a seminar should be…

- Lara Olson

former student

One of the books in the reading list for the 1988-89 Honours seminar was E.O. Wilson's Sociobiology. What the heck was this doing in a political science course? I had never encountered a mind with such breadth, and such genuine curiosity in the full range of human affairs, until I met Professor Laponce…

- Pablo Policzer

former student

Professor Laponce opened each session of the 1987-88 senior honours seminar with a brief exercise, such as having us list the 5 most important events in world history, or try to classify the UBC Poli Sci faculty according to religion and eye colour. Often, the task was unrelated to the readings, but…

- Brian Gaines

former student