The formation of the American scientific community: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1848-60

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This book is a study of the founding and early development of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the mid-19th century. The AAAS was established as an expansion of the more specialized Association of American Geologists and Naturalists in 1847, and provided a forum for discussion of problems facing scientists. A major theme of this work is the struggle of the scientific community to establish a cohesive self-identity, illustrated by tension within the AAAS regarding its professional mission versus the need to popularize science. This study also serves as an index and collective biographical study of the 19th century American scientific community. Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry (1797-1878) played an important role in the AAAS's early years.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Gould, Benjamin Apthorp
  • Agassiz, Louis 1807-1873
  • Hall, James 1811-1898
  • Dana, James Dwight
  • Redfield, W. C (William Charles) 1789-1857
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Lovering, Joseph
  • Hitchcock, Edward
  • Peirce, Benjamin
  • Silliman, Benjamin 1816-1885
  • Torrey, John 1796-1873
  • Rogers, William Barton 1804-1882
  • Gibbs, Wolcott 1822-1908
  • Horsford, Eben Norton 1818-1893
  • Rogers, Henry D (Henry Darwin) 1808-1866
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Association of American Geologists and Naturalists
  • British Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Scientific Lazzaroni
  • Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
  • American Philosophical Society
  • Smithsonian Institution General History


Smithsonian History Bibliography


The appendix contains a biographical directory of significant AAAS members and lists of members and involved "non members," with dates of membership and place of residence, organized alphabetically. There is a bibliography on pages 235-253.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Professional associations
  • Geology
  • American science
  • Science
  • Learned institutions and societies
  • Societies
  • Geological surveys
  • Science--Societies, etc

Physical description

Number of pages: 343; Page numbers: ix-xiii; 1-264; [64]

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