Mossman Lecture: A History

Full house at this year's Mossman Lecture featuring Professor Steven Shapin

Full house at this year’s Mossman Lecture featuring Professor Steven Shapin

Every year the Library organizes a series of lectures on a broad range of topics. The Mossman Lecture is named after Dr. Donald Mossman, a research chemist and McGill alumnus, who was actively involved in collection development.  The Mossman Collection on the History of Science and of Ideas was initially the personal library of Drs. Donald and Dorothea Mossman. They donated the collection to McGill in 1974, and established an endowment fund to support its continued development. The Mossman Collection in the History of Science and Ideas is now housed in the Schulich Library of Science & Engineering at McGill University.  The Mossman Collection focuses on events in the 17th century onwards, and on inventions and topics such as the sociology of science. The collection became available to scholars with the opening of the Physical Sciences and Engineering Library in 1982.

Mossman guest lecturer Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor, History of Science, Harvard University

Mossman guest lecturer Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor, History of Science, Harvard University

With this endowment, and a later bequest, Dr. Mossman also established two named lectures in the History of Science and Ideas in honour of his two great friends at McGill, D. Lorne Gales and Elizabeth B. McNab.

Elizabeth B. McNab was a graduate of McGill, (B.A. 1941) and had a distinguished career at McGill, becoming the first woman to hold the position of Director of Annual Giving at a Canadian University and, later, the first woman to become head of University Development. Her association with McGill spanned 40 years. Her activities in alumni relations and fundraising took her to New York where she met and became friends with Dr. Donald Mossman who was then a professor at Hunter College. Elizabeth B. McNab passed away December 31, 2006

D. Lorne Gales, (B.A. 1932, B.C.L. 1935, LL.D. 1979), was the founder of the McGill Development Office and a member of the original McGill University Rowing Club, circa 1930.  This lecture, funded through the generosity of the late Dr. Donald D. Mossman (B.Sc.‘23, M.A.‘24 (Toronto), Ph.D.‘33 (Columbia), celebrates the love of learning and the friendship of D. Lorne Gales and Donald D. Mossman. D. Lorne Gales was deeply involved with McGill for over 63 years, from his student athlete days through his role as General Secretary of the Graduates’ Society.

Last week, the Library in conjunction with the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas hosted the 16th Annual D. Lorne Gales Lecture in the History of Science at Tanna Schulich Hall. The speaker, Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor, History of Science at Harvard University presented the Mossman Lecture entitled “You Are What You Eat: Historical Changes in Ideas about Food and Identity” to a packed house filled with students, professors, staff and friends of McGill. If you missed this lecture, don’t fret, The McGill Tribune published a great summary of the lecture here. See you at next year’s Mossman Lecture!

McNab Lectures

McNab Lectures 1982-present

D. Lorne Gales Lectures

D. Lorne Gales Lectures, 1983-present

Leave a Reply

COVID-19 | Latest information

All library branches closed until further notice. Access to e-resources and virtual services continue.
More »
Library Matters seeks to exchange and encourage ideas, innovations and information from McGill Library staff for our on-campus readers and beyond.
Contact Us!

If you have any questions, comments, or even an idea for a story, let us know!