To help commemorate the 200th anniversary of the New York Academy of Sciences, founded in 1817, this revised edition of Simon Baatz’s book Knowledge, Culture, and Science in the Metropolis: The New York Academy of Sciences, 1817–2017, presents new material on the Academy’s activities from 1970-2016.
The revised edition weaves the story of the Academy’s development with the development of science in New York City and America, from the early 19th century when scientific studies were largely focused on cataloging the natural history of the nascent United States.
Chapters retained from the first edition include discussions of how Academy members were prominent in the campaigns to establish New York University in 1831 and the American Museum of Natural History in 1869; the Academy’s comprehensive survey of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in 1907 and the resulting published magisterial 19-volumes over the next three decades; and scientific breakthroughs reported at Academy conferences and events, most notably, research in antibiotics in the 1940s and 1950s, which appeared the Academy’s journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
In this revised edition, Professor Baatz adds a new chapter that focuses on the significant activities of the Academy’s Committee on Human Rights of Scientists, which worked on behalf of dissident scientists for over twenty years, and the decades of involvement of the Academy in education programs for young people in New York City and beyond. Few cultural institutions in New York have lasted so long and few have had such influence on science in New York City.
The Academy has been unique as a nexus for scientists across different disciplines, from universities, research institutes, and government; and its influence, through its conferences and publications, now extends worldwide.