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Science Literacy Week @ McGill: 2015 Exhibits

Events happening across campus during science literacy week

Islamic Studies Library

History of Science in Islam

The history of science and Islam dates back to the time of Muhammad. From optics to astronomy, from mathematics to medicine, from astrolabes to pendulums, Muslim scholars’ contribution to contemporary knowledge is as far reaching as it is diverse. This exhibition highlights some of the prominent texts held by McGill that exemplify the intellectual depth, knowledge, and curiosity of Muslim scholars, bringing together unique works from the Islamic Studies Library, the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, and Rare Books and Special Collections.

The Islamic Studies Library is located in Morrice Hall on the downtown campus.

Please note: This exhibition is accessible during opening hours, beginning Monday September 21.

Osler Library of the History of Medicine

Sanitizing style: Germ theory and fashion at the turn of the century

Discovered in the latter half of the 20th century, the germ theory of disease, elaborated by scientists such as Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch, led to numerous changes in everyday living. A new exhibition at the Osler Library highlights one such example. Following the discovery of the tuberculosis bacterium, public health advocates rallied to create treatment and prevention programmes, including public health campaigns and anti-spitting legislation. They also recognized the danger posed by tuberculosis-infected sputum on the streets being swept up by the trailing skirts that fashionable women of the day favoured. This exhibition explores the legitimacy that germ theory lent to the late 19th-century movement to reform women's dress, bringing together books, images, artifacts, and clothing pieces from collections across McGill.

The Osler Library is located on the 3rd floor of the McIntyre Medical Building3655 Promenade Sir William Osler.

Please note: This exhibition is accessible during opening hours, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, from September through November.

Marvin Duchow Music Library

Hubert Bédard and Hellmuth Wolff: Visionaries of the early keyboard revival

This exhibition focuses on historically-reconstructed organs and includes large-scale drawings, photographs, writings and other textual records, as well as three-dimensional objects. Records relating to Bédard’s building and restoring activities, with a particular focus on Flemish and French keyboards, as well as other autobiographical records are displayed here for the first time. Read more about the exhibition and these two musicians here.

The Library is located on the 3rd floor of the Elizabeth Wirth Music Building527 Sherbrooke Street West.

Please note: This exhibition is accessible during opening hours

McGill University Archives

The McGill Observatory – The Weather Story and Beyond

The McGill Observatory was established on campus in 1863 as a weather station by McGill’s first Professor of Meteorology, Charles Smallwood. Smallwood died late in 1873 and he was replaced as head of the Observatory in 1874 by C. H. McLeod, at which time the Observatory also came to be more directly integrated into Canada's fledgling Meteorological Service. McLeod, a member of the first graduating class in the Faculty of Applied Science (now Engineering) in 1873, had starting working in the service as a student and took on the role of observer in 1874 under the supervision of William Dawson.

In the 1880s, the Observatory also served as a source for accurate measurement of time for Canada-based astronomical observations. Experiments carried out in partnership with the Royal Observatory in Greenwich led to a more precise determination of the Observatory’s longitude, which became the standard reference for both time and longitude for most of the continent, and indeed the Western Hemisphere. McLeod stayed on at McGill for forty years as the Head of the Observatory. He also served as a Professor of Civil Engineering, as a Professor and as the Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Applied Science. After McLeod’s death in 1917, he was replaced by Professor A.J. Kelly who held the post for twenty years. In 1945, the Observatory became part of the Geography Department, and by 1960 was transferred to the newly created the Department of Meteorology, with Professor J.S. Marshall as the chair, with responsibility for the Observatory. The current Director of the Observatory, now named the J.S. Marshall Radar Observatory, is Frédéric Fabry, Associate Prof., Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences & School of Environment.

The exhibit is located on the 6th floor of the McLennan Library Building, 3459 McTavish Street.

Please note: This exhibit is accessible during Humanities and Social Sciences Library opening hours.

Schulich Library of Science and Engineering

Science Literacy Week: Let's play!

This exhibit is full of exciting games to stimulate a love for science, with science trivia and quizzes to test your knowledge. Come and play with us!

Schulich Library is located in the Macdonald-Stewart Library Building. The exhibit can be found on the main floor.

Please note: This exhibition is accessible during opening hours.

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