The Physiological Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Physiological Society)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Physiological Society is a learned society in the UK, founded in 1876.


The Physiological Society was founded in 1876 as a dining society "for mutual benefit and protection" by a group of 19 physiologists, led by John Burdon Sanderson and Michael Foster, as a result of the 1875 Royal Commission on Vivisection and the subsequent 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act.[1] The aim was to promote the advancement of physiology. Charles Darwin and William Sharpey were elected as the society's first two Honorary Members. The society first met at Sanderson's London home. The first rules of the society offered membership to no more than 40, all of whom should be male "working" physiologists (women were first admitted as members in 1915). [2]

Michael Foster was also founder of The Journal of Physiology in 1878, and was appointed to the first Chair of Physiology at the University of Cambridge in 1883.

In 2012 the Society became a member of the UK Science Council.

Present day[edit]

The Society consists of over 3000 members, including 14 Nobel Laureates and over 700 affiliates (younger scientists) drawn from over 50 countries. The majority of members are engaged in research, in universities or industry, into how the body works in health and disease and in teaching physiology in schools and universities. The Society also facilitates communication between scientists and with other interested groups.

The Physiological Society publishes the academic journals The Journal of Physiology and Experimental Physiology, and with the American Physiological Society publishes the open access journal Physiological Reports. It also publishes the membership magazine Physiology News.


  1. ^ The History of The National Anti-Vivisection Society (The National Anti-Vivisection Society)
  2. ^ Sharpey-Schafer,E. History of the Physiological Society during its first Fifty Years 1876-1927, Oxford University Press, London, 1927

External links[edit]