During the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held in St. Louis in March 1946, 57 members of the Society for the Study of Speciation and the Committee on Common Problems of Genetics, Paleontology and Systematics of the National Research Council gathered in a session chaired by Alfred Emerson to discuss forming an organization devoted to the "dynamics of evolution." Founded as a permanent, independent body, the Society for the Study of Evolution elected its first slate of officers that March, and adopted its mission to "promote the study of organic evolution in all its aspects."
At the first annual meeting of the Society in December 1946, the membership rejected a proposal to assume control of the American Naturalist in favor of creating a new publication specifically devoted to research on questions of plant and animal evolution. With the assistance of a grant from the American Philosophical Society, the journal Evolution was launched in 1947 as a venue for research in paleontology, genetics, taxonomy, ecology, and anthropology, providing the first cross-disciplinary forum for the evolutionary sciences.
In his 1952 history of the SSE, Ernst Mayr stated that "the aims of the Society, through its journal and otherwise, reflect the conviction that the evolutionary approach will clarify many unsolved biological problems and will provide common goals and mutual comprehension among all the life sciences." Today, the Society has an estimated 2,500 members and continues to publish Evolution bimonthly.
From the guide to the Society for the Study of Evolution Records, 1944-present, (American Philosophical Society)