16th International Meeting of The Society for the History of Natural History September 21 – 24, 2006 Montreal, Canada

Hosted by the Redpath Museum (McGill University), McCord Museum, and the Jardin Botanique

Theme: Natural Science in the New World: The Descriptive Enterprise

The history of natural history in Canada is not as well known as it should be, but it is rich. One of the first descriptions of the New World was Jacques Cartier’s account of “diamonds” at the mouth of Rivière du Cap-Rouge in 1541. This episode gave Quebec’s Cap Diamant its name and the saying “faux comme des diamants du Canada”. French, English, Italian, and other European explorers described the flora, fauna, and natural resources of the land and helped generate the explosion of natural history knowledge that constituted the scientific revolution and enlightenment.

Explorers and settlers like Thevet, Champlain, Denys, Sarrasin and Louis Nicolas wrote accounts and collected specimens. Surveyors and explorers mapped the country’s landscape and included Thomas Davies, the factors of the Hudson Bay and NorthWest Companies, and Franklin and Frobisher in the Arctic. In the 19th century Montreal served as a base for the study and documentation of natural ‘philosophy’ by important figures such as John William Dawson and William Logan, and, later, the botanist Frére Marie-Victorin. The knowledge of the Native peoples informed the understanding of the early explorers, and continues to shape contemporary conceptions of the natural history of this country.

Meetings exploring these topics will be held at the Redpath Museum and the Jardin Botanique de Montréal, with special visits to the Biodôme de Montréal, the Insectarium, the Blacker-Wood Rare Books Collection and the Osler Medical Library at McGill, and the McCord Museum.

Contacts: Ingrid Birker, Science Outreach Coordinator, Redpath Museum ([email protected]); Victoria Dickenson, Director, McCord Museum ([email protected]); Johanne Landry, Directrice, Insectarium de Montréal ([email protected])

For information on how to submit an abstract and how to register for the conference, please click on the following link: http://www.mcgill.ca/redpath/conference/shnh_2006/

Last day to submit an abstract: April 1, 2006 Last day for early registration: April 14, 2006 at CAD$175 General registration received after April 14, 2006 at CAD$195 Last day to book accommodations at the conference hotel: August 7, 2006