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Who we are

The Nova Scotian Institute of Science was founded in 1862 as a direct descendant of the Halifax Mechanics’ Institute (1831–1860) and the Halifax Literary and Scientific Society (1839–1862). It is one of the oldest learned societies in Canada.

The Institute was incorporated by an Act of the Nova Scotia Legislature in 1890, the Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia in 1967, and received its first grant from the Legislature in 1867.

The 101st Annual Meeting of the Institute was held on 15 October 1962; the Presidential Address was delivered by W.J. Archibald, Professor of Physics at Dalhousie University. The 151st Annual General Meeting of the Institute was held on 8 May 2012.

The Institute provides a meeting place for scientists and those interested in science. Among its roles are stimulation of scientific research and provision of scientific information to scientists and the general public. The Institute has a unique part to play as it facilitates communication among scientists, technologists, educators, administrators, and the community through public lectures, discussion panels, its Proceedings and the Internet.

What we do

Public Lectures
Prominent members of the scientific community are invited to address the Institute at a series of regular meetings held on the first Monday of each month from October to May. The lectures and panel discussions are open to the public, and the topics are of broad interest. The meetings take place usually at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, at 7:30 pm.

The Institute sponsors an annual science writing competition for university students. The Institute also supports and provide prizes for regional school science fairs.

The Nova Scotian Institute of Science publishes a scientific journal entitled The Proceedings of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science. At present, the Killam Library at Dalhousie University houses all volumes of the journal in its print collection and makes available vol. 1 (1863) to vol. 41 (2001) free online. Table of contents of recent volumes are listed on the NSIS website as Current volumes. All volumes of the journal will soon be available online.

The Institute has a library, established in 1864, that includes society journals from around the world. They are now housed within the collection of the Killam Library at Dalhousie University.