Little Bits of History

September 20

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 20, 2017

1848: The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is founded. It is an international non-profit organization with the goal of advancing science across many spectrums. The Association of American Geologists and Naturalists predate this organization. William Charles Redfield, the first president of AAAS, had the greatest plans for the new organization formed from the ashes of its predecessor. They adopted their constitution on this day as well and listed their main goals. First of all, they sought to allow greater scientific collaboration and found that sharing information quickly and accurately was the was in which to accomplish it. They also wanted to increase resources available to scientists and believed advocating for a greater understanding of scientific endeavors was key.

On this day there were 78 members committed to the spread of science. Two days later, another meeting was held and it was announced that ship navigators were sending in data to the United States Naval Observatory and it allowed for a more comprehensive understanding of winds and currents. This was seen as a basis for other data collection sets. Matthew Maury, of the US Navy called for even more data and William Barton Rogers, later to found MIT, offered a resolution to help with this project. It was hoped to collect data worldwide rather than just from United States ships.

During the US Civil War, AAAS was dormant, but in 1866 Frederick Barnard resurrected the sleeping scientific organization and the group saw tremendous growth. Joining AAAS did not take a science degree, or any degrees at all. Interest in the expansion of the scientific community was all that was needed. They helped to unify many disciplines and cross pollination of ideas produced an ever-increasing amount of knowledge and understanding.

Today, AAAS puts out six Science Journals containing peer-reviewed science or engineering based research articles. They cover a wide range of topics in a variety of disciplines. They sponsor eleven basic programs with branches within each to help support science and research around the globe. They also host a wide range of events online with the concerned public invited to webinars or video chats in order to widen understanding of science and implementation of ideas. They support higher education in science and mathematics and offer several ways to increase the likelihood of finding a job in these arenas from career development to internships. They have over 2,000 jobs available within these fields.

The science of today is the technology of tomorrow. – Edward Teller

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. – Carl Sagan

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. – Immanuel Kant

Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. – Louis Pasteur

 

 

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