University of Pennsylvania. Scientific Society.

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The Scientific Society of the University of Pennsylvania was formed by students of the University of Pennsylvania in October 1882 to promote interest in "scientific and literary subjects [which] would be a benefit to ourselves and other students in this University." Shortly after its creation, the Scientific Society negotiated with the remaining officers of the then defunct Franklin Scientific Society to assume the latter's debts in exchange for the latter's library, collection of specimens, and room in College Hall. Interest in the new organization grew and it managed to sustain an active program of student debates, exercises and public lecture series during the 1880s. The public lectures frequently brought guest speakers, mostly scientists, from other Universities. One notable lecturer was Eadweard Muybridge who spoke before the group twice (in 1884 and again in 1885) on the photographic studies of human and animal motion that he was conducting at the University.

Like all student organizations that are dependant upon training a fresh group of students to continue its existence, the Scientific Society eventually succumbed to a lack of interest to keep the organization going. In the spring term of 1892 the Society was beginning to experience real difficulties in attracting a steady membership. In spite of a last minute attempt to broaden its appeal by eliminating the debates and alternating their evening exercises between topics of a scientific and literary character, the Scientific Society was unable to form itself again in the fall of 1892. The void created by the Society's demise, however, was quickly filled by the reconstituted Zelosophic Society of the University of Pennsylvania in October 1892.

From the description of Records, 1882-1891. (University of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 145429269

Archival Resources
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creatorOf University of Pennsylvania. Scientific Society. Records, 1882-1891. University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
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associatedWith Muybridge, Eadweard, 1830-1904. person
associatedWith University of Pennsylvania corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Science clubs
Student activities

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Active 1882

Active 1891

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SNAC ID: 69865496