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French connections in Australia - Les voyages extraordinaires of scientific discovery

Early French voyages, led by commanders like Baudin, Bougainville, Lapérouse, D’Entrecasteaux, Freycinet, Duperrey and Dumont d’Urville, were the first to name, describe and beautifully illustrate many Australian species.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020 5:30 PM

While the Matthew Flinders-Nicolas Baudin encounters in SA are well documented locally, a new joint research venture with local and French academics will be launched at the screening of a documentary at the South Australian Maritime Museum: French Science on the High Seas: Voyages of exploration and discovery.

“The short documentary brings to life Australia’s fascinating and colourful French history and reminds us of a time when scientific research involved intrepid voyages in tall ships on the high seas, battling scurvy and storms, insects and rats, and hostilities both on board and on shore,” says French language and culture lecturer Dr Maizonniaux, who will co-convene a Q&A at the event.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM AEST:

A special National Science Week online event in Adelaide will hear from Flinders University’s Dr Danielle Clode and Dr Christèle Maizonniaux about how France maintained an unwavering commitment to research and discovery in the Pacific region and in Australia throughout the turbulent late18th and early 19th century – forming the basis of some of the earlier cultural connections with Europe.

“England may have colonised Australia, but for many years it was France that understood it best,” says scientific historian Dr Clode, from the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. “They took specimens back to French museums where they provided an important foundation for Australian biology and conservation, particularly in botany and marine biology.”

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