Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

The Cambridge Philosophical Society

In 2019, the Cambridge Philosophical Society celebrates its 200th anniversary. When it was set up in 1819, Cambridge was not a place to do any kind of serious science. There were a few professors in scientific subjects but almost no proper laboratories or facilities. Students rarely attended lectures, and degrees were not awarded in the sciences. The Philosophical Society was Cambridge’s first scientific society. Within a few years of its foundation, it had begun hosting regular meetings, set up Cambridge’s most extensive scientific library, collected and curated Cambridge’s first museum of natural history, and begun publishing Cambridge’s first scientific periodical.

Over the last 200 years, countless new scientific discoveries have been presented at meetings and in the journals of the Philosophical Society. These are a few:

 

 

 

 

Featured image credit:  “Cambridge-Architecture-Monument” by blizniak. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

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