Dawson, the family name of two Canadian geologists, who were father and son. Both were born in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

Sir John William Dawson

(1820-1899), the father, attended the University of Edinburgh. In 1842 he accompanied Sir Charles Lyell on an expedition that reported on the geology of Nova Scotia. Dawson was superintendent of education for Nova Scotia, 1850-53, and professor of geology and principal at McGill University (1855-93). He was knighted in 1884.

George Mercer Dawson (1849-1901)

the son, attended McGill University and the Royal School of Mines in London. He was made assistant director of the Geological Survey of Canada in 1883. He became director in 1895 and served until his death. Dawson led a government expedition to the Yukon Territory in 1887. The gold-mining town of Dawson was named for him. He was a member of the Bering Sea Commission in 1891.