As of July 6th, APS offices are open to staff and invited visitors. The Society will remain closed to the public for at least the rest of the summer. Library & Museum staff now have access to our collections and will respond to reference and photoduplication requests as soon as possible. However, please note that response times may be delayed due to increased demand. The Society will continue a robust slate of virtual programs throughout the summer and fall. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. For further information on the APS reopening and its COVID response, please click here.

In the 19th century, many Members responded to Franklin’s call to “let light into the nature of things.” They documented the natural world, questioned the origins of man, and studied different cultures.

Charles Darwin’s (APS 1869) groundbreaking ideas about natural selection and evolution resulted in the emergence of new and increasingly specialized fields. Geologists and paleontologists sought to prove Darwin’s theories by examining rocks and fossils as physical evidence of evolutionary change. Anthropologists similarly studied language and culture to better understand people in both the past and present.

Many of the biggest debates of the day took place at the APS. The Society created connections among paleontologists, geologists, and anthropologists, who presented their work at APS Meetings or in APS publications like the Transactions and Proceedings.