HMS Challenger in Halifax
Viewing an Icon After 150 Years

Eric L. Mills

Friday November 3, 2023 | 7:30 pm
The Biennial CSTHA Keynote Address
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic | 1675 Lower Water St, Halifax

On May 9, 1873, the re-purposed Royal Navy corvette HMS Challenger steamed into Halifax harbour for a 10-day stay. Challenger’s visit was greeted with enthusiasm by members of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science, who visited the ship and entertained the scientific staff on shore. But Challenger’s influence was ephemeral, probably largely forgotten in the city after she departed, leaving then a few specimens and later a partial collection of the multi-volume scientific results of its 3½-year voyage around the world. Paradoxically, the Challenger voyage involved the last gasp of some 19th century technology and scientific traditions but it became an icon for the modern ocean sciences that emerged in the 20th century. This talk describes the Challenger expedition and explores why it became an exemplar of modern oceanography despite changes in scientific practice after 1900.

Eric Mills is Professor Emeritus of History of Science in the Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University and Inglis Professor, University of King’s College, Halifax, Canada.

Please see or download this poster for full details: Eric Mills Keynote at MMA, 3 Nov. 2023