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CNHP - Dawson, Sir John William - Pictou, NS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 45° 40.626 W 062° 42.614
20T E 522567 N 5058212
Quick Description: First President of the Royal Society of Canada and principal of McGill University from 1855 to 93, John Dawson was a Pictou native, born there in 1820.
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Date Posted: 12/8/2018 1:53:18 PM
Waymark Code: WMZNJB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 0

Long Description:
On the north side of Pictou's Church Street, a couple of dozen feet east of George Street, is a small hillside rock garden, the rear of which is surrounded by a stone wall. In the centre is a concrete monument consisting of two steles forming a 90 degree corner. On each front face is a CNHP plaque, one each for father and son John and George Dawson.

A man of many letters, John Dawson was a leading geologist, palaeontologist, author, educator, office holder, publisher, and editor. A short biography of Sir William is below.

SIR JOHN WILLIAM DAWSON 1820 - 1899

William Dawson, one of the foremost Canadian scholars of his generation, was born at Pictou. After studies at Edinburgh and work with the geologist Lyell, he returned to become first Superintendent of Education for Nova Scotia (1850-53). For almost forty years (1855-93) as Principal and Professor of Natural History at McGill University he exercised a profound influence on Canadian education and science. A founding member and first President of the Royal Society of Canada (1882), Dawson was knighted in 1884. Sir William's extensive scientific writings gained him an international reputation. He died at Montreal.
Sir John William Dawson
Dawson, Sir John William, geologist, principal of McGill (b at Pictou, NS 13 Oct 1820; d at Montréal 19 Nov 1899). The first Canadian-born scientist of worldwide reputation, Dawson personally created most of the 19th-century foundations of the 20th-century Canadian scientific community. Educated in Pictou, Nova Scotia, and Edinburgh, Scotland, as a geologist, then the most advanced branch of applied science, Dawson became superintendent of education for NS in 1850 and principal of McGill in 1855. Over the next 38 years, he built McGill into one of the world's leading universities; he taught 20 hours a week, published 20 books, formed the ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANADA, became the only individual ever to preside over both the American and the British Associations for the Advancement of Science, and was knighted in 1884 for his public services. His son, G.M. DAWSON, was director of the GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF CANADA.

Principal Dawson's career spanned the transformation of science from a fixed curriculum of "natural philosophy" to an array of professional disciplines focused on research. Like his predecessors, he wrote on subjects from farming to philanthropy, but he also earned a solid reputation as a geologist, equally at home on a cliff, chipping out samples, or in his study, synthesizing and interpreting the processes of geological time. He was the leading expert of his day on early FOSSIL PLANTS and took special pride in his identification as a coral of Eozoon canadense, thought to be the oldest nonplant fossil known: always controversial, it was not for another 50 years that Eozoon was shown to be a rare crystal formation rather than a living animal.

Principal Dawson's career spanned the transformation of science from a fixed curriculum of "natural philosophy" to an array of professional disciplines focused on research. Like his predecessors, he wrote on subjects from farming to philanthropy, but he also earned a solid reputation as a geologist, equally at home on a cliff, chipping out samples, or in his study, synthesizing and interpreting the processes of geological time. He was the leading expert of his day on early FOSSIL PLANTS and took special pride in his identification as a coral of Eozoon canadense, thought to be the oldest nonplant fossil known: always controversial, it was not for another 50 years that Eozoon was shown to be a rare crystal formation rather than a living animal.
From the Canadian Encyclopaedia

Photo goes Here

Classification: National Historic Person

Province or Territory: Nova Scotia

Location - City name/Town name: Pictou

Link to Parks Canada entry (must be on www.pc.gc.ca): [Web Link]

Link to HistoricPlaces.ca: Not listed

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