Paris Exploration Program

On September 1, the Center in Paris will welcome a small group of incoming first-year University of Chicago undergraduate students for a two-week Paris Exploration Program.

Students participating in the 2019 Paris Exploration Program will study with Professor Peggy Mason of the Department of Neurobiology and Professor Nadine Moeller of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. They will co-teach a course titled “Science and the City: Exploring Paris through the achievements of early scientists and inventors.”

Read the course description below:

Science and the City: Exploring Paris through the achievements of early scientists and inventors
Peggy Mason and Nadine Moeller
September 1–15, 2019

Paris has been the home of groundbreaking discoveries and scientific research in the 19th and early 20th century. With the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte to power, interest in research and science reached new heights, and led to Napoleon embarking in a campaign to Egypt with 150 of the most prominent Parisian scientists, engineers and scholars. Napoleon’s academic entourage described the physical environment, monuments, flora, fauna, and culture of Egypt. The result of this endeavor was the publication of Déscription de l’Egypte; we will attempt to view the rare imperial edition, which is currently kept in the Senate in Paris. The upshot of Napoleon’s expedition was two-fold: 1) it was the dawn of the western world’s fascination with ancient Egypt; and 2) it was the launching pad for many scientists who went on to establish Paris as an academic and intellectual center. We will examine the contributions of several of these scientists, and their intellectual descendants, including Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Jean-Martin Charcot, and Marie Curie.

During two weeks in Paris, we will explore the city with a focus on these inventors and scientists, discuss their lives and most important achievements. We will visit the Natural History Museum, The Musée des Arts et Métiers (Museum of the arts and professions), Musée Curie, the Père Lachaise cemetery (where a lot of these people were buried), the Panthéon, l’Hôtel des Invalides, the underground catacombs and the Museum for the History of Medicine.

All photos by Yuliya Tsutserova