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Camille Limoges

Professor of the History of Science and Senior Civil Servant
Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy

Camille Limoges began his doctoral studies at the Sorbonne’s Institut d’histoire des sciences et des techniques in 1964 under the direction of Georges Canguilhem, one of the great historians and philosophers of biology. Following a groundbreaking thesis in which he used Darwin’s manuscripts to map out the genesis of the theory of natural selection, he became a professor of the history of biology at Johns Hopkins University and Université de Montréal. He later became a visiting professor at Harvard University and the University of California. Already an influential thinker in the early 1980s, Camille Limoges put his academic work on hold to help shape Québec’s policies on science and technology development. From then on, his efforts to expand and transmit knowledge would go hand in hand with significant civic contributions.

Limoges was one of the instigators of Québec’s first scientific development policy and was appointed deputy minister of the first Ministère de la Science et de la Technologie, which he organized, before serving as deputy minister of Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Science from 1984 to 1986. After going back to teaching and research, this time at UQAM, he founded Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST) in 1993. After returning to public service in 1997, he served as president of Conseil de la science et de la technologie du Québec for two years before being appointed deputy minister of Ministère de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie and coordinating the development of Québec’s new research and innovation policy.

Camille Limoges has received numerous honours, including the prestigious Armand-Frappier Award, one of the Prix du Québec. Since his retirement in 2002, he has served as a consultant to numerous scientific organizations and focused on a critical edition of Georges Canguilhem’s complete works. He plans to donate his collection of over 2,000 books related to Canguilhem to Université Laval.