Augusta Stowe-Gullen Stream


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A pioneer in the medical sciences profession and a trail-blazer for change, Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen (1857-1943) was the first woman to receive a medical degree from a Canadian medical school (at the time, Victoria College granted medical degrees). Dr. Stowe-Gullen was a medical doctor, lecturer and suffragette who challenged popularly-held notions in the scientific community. The Stowe-Gullen stream aims to explore the ethical, social and political consequences of scientific advancement. Her groundbreaking efforts were the inspiration for the Vic One Stowe-Gullen stream. 

The two full year lecture/seminar courses in the Stowe-Gullen stream explore the ethical, logistical and rhetorical elements of the modern-day sciences as they relate to historical modes of reasoning. The Vic One Augusta Stowe-Gullen Steam is ideally suited to students considering programs in the biological/sciences, but welcomes students from all sciences and disciplines. The Augusta Stowe-Gullen Stream inspires students to think creatively and critically about scientific reasoning, methods and theories. It prepares students to participate in the important debates of our time about the social, political and ethical challenges posed by scientific advances. Interaction among the students and faculty outside of regular class time is encouraged and supported.Students in this stream will develop critical thinking and advanced research, writing and presentation skills. The courses will enhance students’ analytical and synthetic abilities and inspire them to be creative as well as socially and ethically responsible. Students will acquire a deep understanding of the concepts of probability, evidence and risk assessment along with strong foundation in the history of philosophy of science. 


"The Stowe-Gullen stream is a foundational course for scientific study; it presents an approach and understanding of science that might otherwise take years of trial and error to mature into. The courses place students squarely ahead of their peers in their ability to critically think and excel in further education."

~ Eliott Campbell

As part of their first year studies, students enrolled in the Stowe-Gullen stream are required to take the two Vic One seminar courses: VIC 170Y and VIC 171Y as well as a full course equivalency co-requisite selected from first-year offerings in the sciences (must include a half course in the biological sciences). Recent graduates of the Stowe Gullen stream have summarized its highlights: undergraduates are treated like graduate students; students are constantly confronted with uncertainty and learn ways to deal with it using rhetoric and statistics; students are challenged to develop a research question on a topic of their own choice and produce a research grant proposal using primary source material from current research literature; students are challenged to communicate in writing, orally and with images to different audiences; students’ critical appraisal skills are honed in criticizing literary fiction and scientific research articles. There is a recurring theme “what is the question?”





In short, those taking courses in the physical or natural sciences who are adventurous, prepared to take intellectual risks, curious and who seek the company of a small group of like-minded individuals.


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