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American Philosophical Society

The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, continues to operate to this day. Through research grants, published journals, the upkeep of an extensive library, and regular meetings, the Society continues to advance careful study in a wide variety of disciplines (in the humanities and the sciences).

Table of contents
1 History of the Society
2 Society Awards
3 Society Publications
4 External link

History of the Society

From the beginning, the Society attracted some of America's finest minds. Early members included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, and John Marshall. The Society also drew philosophers from other nations as members, including the Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, and Thaddeus Kosciuszko.

After the end of the American Revolution, the Society looked for leadership to Francis Hopkinson, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Under his influence, the Society received land from the government of Pennsylvania, along with a plot of land in Philadelphia where Philosophical Hall now stands.

Illustrious names have continually added themselves to the APS's membership roster, showing the breadth and depth of the society's reach. People from such diverse interests and backgrounds as Charles Darwin, Robert Frost, Louis Pasteur, Elizabeth Cady Agassiz, John James Audubon, Linus Pauling, Margaret Mead, and Thomas Edison became members of the Society. The Society continues to attract names of high renown today, with a current membership list of approximately 700.

Society Awards

In 1786, the Society established the Magellanic Premium, a prize for achievement in "navigation, astronomy, or natural philosophy", the oldest scientific prize awarded by an American institution, which it still awards. Other awards include the Barzun prize for cultural history, the Franklin medal, the Lashley award for neurobiology, the Lewis award, and the Jefferson medal for distinguished achievement in the arts, humanities, or social sciences.

Society Publications

The APS has published the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society since 1771. Currently five issues appear each year. The Proceedings have appeared since 1838: they publish the papers delivered at the biannual meetings of the Society. The Society has also published the collected papers of Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Henry, William Penn, and Lewis and Clark.

External link

The American Philosophical Society