I would like to identify a scholar who can present the history of the science academy movement, worldwide, for a paper to be presented in a symposium I am proposing for the February 14-18, 2008, meeting in Boston of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

I am enclosing a draft synopsis of the symposium. We expect speakers from several academies of science, but I need a specific paper that can set the historical context.

Proposed Symposium for the 2008 Boston AAAS Meeting

Organizer: Lynn Elfner, CEO, The Ohio Academy of Science and Chair, Section Y, General Interest in Science (AAAS) [email protected]

Assisted by Dr. Jay Labov, the National Academies


This session will critique, compare and contrast the history, contemporary organization, functions and future value of academies of science to society.

Owing their origin in part to Plato’s academia, academies of science have developed worldwide as learned societies that (1) establish and maintain criteria for the methods and soundness of research and scholarly activities, (2) recognize scholarship, (3) disseminate and archive centuries of knowledge, (4) provide a common meeting ground for discussion of cutting-edge research, (5) providing advice to governmental agencies, (6) foster science education and (7) engage in public outreach to benefit society.

Academies of science have earned a certain respect with the media, the public and, in general, the worldwide academic community. To be an Academy Fellow distinguishes one in the academic world and to the public.

American prototypical academies include the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the National Academies (NAS, NAE, IOM). Most academies include disciplinary divisions or sections and some now embrace interdisciplinary functions directed at global issues like climate change, disease, energy and the development of human capital.

The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth dedicated to promoting excellence in science. The Society plays an influential role in national and international science policy and supports developments in science engineering and technology in a wide range of ways.

More than 40 states in the United States have academies of science; some include arts and letters. Internationally academies are organized under the Inter-Academy Council composed of presidents of 15 academies of science and equivalent organizations. This leadership currently represents Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus the African Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World.

Mr. Lynn E. Elfner, CEO The Ohio Academy of Science 1500 W. 3rd Avenue, Suite 228 Columbus, Ohio 43212-2817 Office – 614-488-2228 FAX – 614-488-7629 Email Address – [email protected] www.ohiosci.org <http://www.ohiosci.org/>