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Consolidation of the scientific neighborhood in Quebec

This textual content is a part of the particular part 100 years of Acfas

The last decade of the Nineteen Twenties was a pivotal second within the historical past of science in Quebec. The province then had its personal French-Canadian scientists, largely professors and researchers, nevertheless it was not the results of their scientific analysis that made this decade a turning level for science.

“It was right now that these scientists realized that they needed to set up themselves so as to promote science in the event that they wished it to take the place they wished it to occupy in Quebec,” explains Yves Gingras, science historian and professor at UQAM. And that requires the creation of establishments. »

This may first be by the creation of discovered societies, such because the Organic Society of Montreal or the Canadian Pure Historical past Society. Added to those was the creation of scientific schools, such because the Graduate College of Chemistry at Laval College and the College of Science on the College of Montreal. “The creation, in 1923, of the Affiliation canadienne-française pour l’avance des sciences will unite these numerous institutions, says Yves Gingras, and Acfas will turn into the primary promoter of science in Quebec. »

Younger individuals is not going to be disregarded, as a result of the chief of this promotion and consolidation motion is Marie-Victorin who, earlier than beginning her profession as a botanist, had taught elementary and secondary faculty. We’ll due to this fact witness the creation of many circles of younger naturalists. “Marie-Victorin believed that it was essential to work from each ends,” underlines Yves Gingras, “that’s, to offer scientists the instruments they want, but in addition to popularize science so as to entice younger individuals to this self-discipline. »

Different vital actors

If Marie-Victorin was the figurehead of science at the moment—he remained so till his demise in 1944—different scientists additionally contributed to the event of science in Quebec. There’s Léo Parizeau, physician and radiologist. “It was Léo Parizeau who first had the concept of ​​founding Acfas, says Yves Gingras, and all through his profession he was an energetic spokesperson for the promotion of science in Quebec. Furthermore, the primary prize awarded by Acfas in 1944 bears his title. »

Édouard Montpetit, lawyer and economist, performed a significant function within the improvement of economics in Quebec within the Nineteen Twenties and supported the consolidation motion. He was additionally an vital scholar. Appointed secretary common of the College of Montreal in 1920, he based the identical yr the College of Social, Financial and Political Sciences, of which he assumed the course.

We should additionally point out the botanist and ethnobiologist Jacques Rousseau. Though nonetheless a younger man when Acfas was based in 1923, he turned its secretary common in 1930. Kingpin. It was his abilities as an organizer that will lead Acfas to its maturity and to its first congress in 1933.”

The case of Louis-Janvier Dalbis is extra controversial. Born in France, in 1920 he turned professor of histology and biology on the College of Sciences of the College of Montreal and took part within the creation of the Montreal Organic Society. In 1927, he based the Franco-Canadian Scientific Institute, which goals to be a bridge between Quebec and French scientists.

“It’s the creation of the Franco-Canadian Scientific Institute that may trigger a dispute between Dalbis and Marie-Victorin, underlines Yves Gingras. Marie-Victorin maintains that the bridge is just too one-way, permitting primarily French individuals to remain in Quebec, and that the institute competes with Acfas. The dispute could be resolved when Dalbis returned to France a couple of years later.

Marie-Victorin, author

Immediately, Marie-Victorin is greatest recognized for her work as a botanist, notably the founding of the Montreal Botanical Backyard in 1931 and the publication of Laurentian flora, in 1935, however we overlook that he was additionally a number one mental and author. “Intellectually, Marie-Victorin is the antithesis of Lionel Groulx,” says Yves Gingras. For Lionel Groulx, the survival of Quebec should depend on the previous. However for Marie-Victorin, it should be primarily based on the long run and the latter passes by science. »

Furthermore, Marie-Victorin was an ardent nationalist. “In a textual content written in 1925, entitled “The province of Quebec, nation to find and conquer”, says Yves Gingras, Marie-Victorin makes a vibrant plea in favor of a French-Canadian scientific neighborhood. »

However Marie-Victorin can also be a science journalist for each younger individuals and adults. For this reason he accepts the invitation of Omer Héroux, who then directs the editorial employees of the newspaper The responsibility, to signal tickets coping with science, to popularize and advertise, clearly at all times from a nationalist angle. This collaboration will final till his demise.

“Within the Nineteen Twenties, relates Yves Gingras, The responsibility acts as a spearhead for the promotion of science by opening its pages to it. The newspaper will cowl all of the Acfas congresses, and this collaboration lasts till at the moment. »

Quebec society

Opposite to what one may assume, Quebec society at the moment was on no account proof against this scientific rise, together with the Catholic Church. “There was no antiscience motion in Quebec,” says Yves Gingras. Some skirmishes maybe, particularly between the classical schools and the scientists, the latter wanting extra space to be given to science schooling. »

He offers the instance of the primary Acfas Congress. “Along with the scientific congress, Acfas additionally organized an exhibition of the circles of younger naturalists. The variety of guests to this exhibition is estimated at 100,000,” he mentioned. A substantial quantity for the time and which testifies to the curiosity of French Canadians for science.

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