New York Academy of Sciences

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The New York Academy of Sciences
NYAS Logo TM RGB WEB.gif
Motto Per terras, per celestis, per aerum, per maria (Latin)
Established 1817[1]
Type Non-profit Professional Society
(IRS exemption status): 501(c)(3)[2]
Purpose Science, Education, and Public Policy
Headquarters New York, NY, United States
Area served
Worldwide
Method Donations and Grants
Key people
Ellis Rubinstein, current CEO and President
Eunice Miner, Executive Director, 1935-1967
Samuel L. Mitchill, founder
Website nyas.org
NYAS 40th floor lobby

The New York Academy of Sciences (originally the Lyceum of Natural History) was founded in January 1817.[1] It is one of the oldest scientific societies in the United States.[3] An independent, non-profit organization with more than 20,000 members in 100 countries, the Academy’s mission is "to advance scientific research and knowledge; to support scientific literacy; and to promote the resolution of society's global challenges through science-based solutions.[4]" The current President and CEO is Ellis Rubinstein;[5] the current chair of the board of governors of the Academy is Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor, The State University of New York (SUNY).[6]

History[edit]

Founded on January 29, 1817, the New York Academy of Sciences was originally called the Lyceum of Natural History.[1] Convened by the Academy's founder and first President, Samuel L. Mitchill, the first meeting of the Lyceum took place at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, located on Barclay Street near Broadway in lower Manhattan.[1] The principal activities of the early Lyceum focused on hosting lectures, collecting natural history specimens, and establishing a library.[1] In 1823, the Lyceum began publishing its own scientific journal, then the Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York, now the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. By 1826 the Lyceum owned "the richest collection of reptiles and fish in the country," however a fire in 1866 destroyed the collection completely.[3] Following the fire, the Academy turned its focus away from collecting and instead to research, scientific publishing, and disseminating scientific information.

From the outset, the New York Academy of Sciences membership was unique among scientific societies, with a democratic structure that allowed anyone to become a member, from laymen to respected professional scientists.[3] For that reason, the membership has always included a mix of scientists, business people, academics, those working in government, and public citizens with an interest in science. Prominent members have included two United States Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe,[1] as well as numerous well-known scientists such as Asa Gray (who served as the Superintendent of the Academy starting in 1836),[3] John James Audubon,[3] Alexander Graham Bell,[1] Thomas Edison,[1] Louis Pasteur,[1] Charles Darwin,[1] and Margaret Mead (who served for a time as the Vice President of the Academy).[3] Prior to 1877, the Academy only admitted men, but on November 5, 1877, they elected Erminnie A. Smith the first female member.[7] Membership has also included numerous Nobel Prize winners over the years.[1]

Early Academy members played prominent roles in the establishment of New York University in 1831[1] and the American Museum of Natural History in 1858.[1]

The Academy has made significant contributions to the scientific community during the course of its history, including publishing one of the first studies on environmental pollution in 1876;[8] conducting a scientific survey of Puerto Rico from 1907-1934;[1] the first conference on antibiotics on 21 July 1948;[1] hosting an important gathering and publishing the first volume on the cardiovascular effects of smoking in 1960;[9] the founding of a Women in science Committee in 1977;[1] the world’s first major scientific conference on AIDS in 1983;[10] and a conference on SARS in 2003.[11]

In 2006, the Academy moved into its current home on the 40th floor of 7 World Trade Center.

Publications[edit]

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences[edit]

Published since 1823, the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (first published as the Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York) is one of the oldest continuously published scientific serials in the United States.[12]

The Sciences[edit]

The Sciences was a popular science magazine published by the Academy from 1961 to 2001.[13] It worked to bridge the sciences and culture, winning seven National Magazine Awards during its history.[14]

Programs[edit]

Human Rights of Scientists Award[edit]

The Committee on Human Rights of Scientists was created in 1978 to support and promote the human rights of scientists, health professionals, engineers, and educators around the world. The full name is "Heinz R. Pagels Human Rights of Scientists Award", it is given to scientists for their contributions to safeguard or advance the human rights of scientists all across the world. It was retitled in 1986.[15] Awardees have included: Andrei Sakharov (1979); Man-Yee Betty Tsang (2000); Óscar Elías Biscet (2008); and Kamiar and Arash Alaei (2009).[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Baatz, Simon (1990). "Knowledge, Culture and Science in the Metropolis: The New York Academy of Sciences, 1817–1970". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 584. 
  2. ^ GuideStar.org New York Academy of Sciences, accessed October 28, 2015
  3. ^ a b c d e f "The New York Academy of Sciences and the American Intellectual Tradition: An Historical Overview". Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences (1): 3–13. December 1975. doi:10.1111/j.2164-0947.1975.tb03035.x. 
  4. ^ "Mission & History". The New York Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Who We Are". The New York Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Board of Governors". The New York Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Fairchild, Herman Le Roy (1887). A History of the New York Academy of Sciences, Formerly the Lyceum of Natural History. New York Academy of Sciences. p. 133. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Garfield, Eugene (December 6, 1993). "A Tribute to the New York Academy of Sciences: Denis Cullinan on Its History, Future, and Classic Papers" (PDF). Current Comments. Number 49: 398–407. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "Cardiovascular Effects of Nicotine and Smoking". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 90: 5–344. September 1960. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  10. ^ Schmeck, Harold (November 20, 1983). "New Theory Given for the Cause of AIDS". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "SARS in the Context of Emerging Infectious Threats" (PDF). Columbia University. May 17, 2003. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  12. ^ "Overview, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences". Wiley Online Library. Wiley. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  13. ^ "The Sciences". The New York Academy of Sciences. The New York Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  14. ^ "National Magazine Award Winners 1966-2015". American Society of Magazine Editors. American Society of Magazine Editors. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  15. ^ http://www.nyas.org/whatwedo/humanrights.aspx
  16. ^ "The Heinz R. Pagels Human Rights of Scientists Award". The New York Academy of Sciences. The New York Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]