200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 41: “Science by the Books ”

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tile page of a 1817 scientific journal
Title page for Volume 1, part 2 of the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences (1819)

Science by the Books

The first volume and issue of the Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences was published in May of 1817. Its champion, William Maclure, argued that the journal would gain prestige and international recognition for the institution. A vigorous advocate of public education and the uplifting promise of science, Maclure also wanted a publication that was inexpensive and widely accessible.

The journal proved successful in promoting exchanges with fellow institutions, including the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, the Royal Society and the Linnaean Society in London, and the Royal Irish Society in Dublin. Notable foreign scientists, including Joseph Banks in England and Alexandre Brongniart, George Cuvier, and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in France were on the subscription list.

Visit ansp.org to read more about our publications, and stop in to see We Wrote the Book, an exhibit located outside our Ewell Sale Stewart Library & Archives, which features a sample of the hundreds of books written by men and women with ties to the Academy of Natural Sciences. 

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