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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 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 in that it provides scientists, technologists, educators and administrators with the opportunity to communicate to each other and to the community through public lectures, discussion panels, its Proceedings and the Internet.

The Nova Scotian Institute of Science publishes a scientific journal entitled The Proceedings of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science.

The Institute has a library, established in 1864, that is now housed in the Killam Library at Dalhousie University. The library of the Institute has a number of periodical titles not available elsewhere in Canada.

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 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 150th Annual General Meeting of the Institute was held on 8 May 2012.

Click here to see a list of Presidents of the Institute.

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