Have we underestimated the beneficial contribution of nuns in the scientific advances that led to the practice of modern science?

At least that’s what the new temporary exhibition at the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Historic Site, located in the Old Port of Montreal, says, “Nuns, teachers and… scientists!” Indeed, women’s religious communities would have played an important role in the dissemination of scientific knowledge among young girls, and this, from the beginning of the 19th century.

Although they were churchwomen, the teachers used avant-garde means to impart knowledge and arouse the interest of their female students.

The expo, which opened in April, also highlights how the Ursulines and the Congrégation de Notre-Dame developed innovative science education programs for their female students at a time when women’s education was undervalued.

In addition to presenting various scientific objects of the time, various laboratory instruments and the work of students, the exhibition looks back on the winding journey of women in science and their significant achievements.

The exhibition will be erected at the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Historic Site until April 2023 and will then be presented at the Musée des Ursulines de Trois-Rivières.