Born: October 13, 1820
Died: November 20, 1899
Place of Birth: Pictou, Nova Scotia
William Dawson is credited as the first Canadian scientist to gain a world-wide reputation.
As a youth in Pictou, William Dawson would excitedly find rocks and scrap them to reveal fossils.
He studied geology at the University of Edinburgh for one year but left due to financial problems.
He became the Superintendent of Education for Nova Scotia in 1850 and helped set up their normal school for teachers.
In 1854, he was appointed Principal of Montreal's McGill College.
He remained principal and geology professor as it later became known as McGill University.
Dawson made numerous classifications and discoveries of fossils and rocks.
Because of his religious faith, William Dawson opposed the extreme views of evolution.
He is credited with writing over 150 papers and books dealing with geological data.
He contributed to setting up the Royal Society of Canada in 1882.
William Dawson received a knighthood in 1884.
For detailed research and more information, check out the following:
Dictionary of Canadian Biography
University of Waterloo
Find a Grave
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Last Updated: January 9, 2017
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