GENERAL SCIENCE, SOCIETIES, PUBLICATIONS, AND AWARDS


What was the first important scientific society in the United States?

The first significant scientific society in the United States was the American Philosophical Society, organized in 1743 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790). During colonial times, the quest to understand nature and seek information about the natural world was called natural philosophy.


What was the first national scientific society organized in the United States?

The first national scientific society organized in the United States was the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). It was established on September 20, 1848, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the purpose of “advancing science in every day.” The first president of the AAAS was William Charles Redfield (1789–1857).

 

What was the first national science institute?

On March 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a congressional charter creating the National Academy of Sciences, which stipulated that “the Academy shall, whenever called upon by any department of the government, investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art, the actual expense of such investigations, examinations, experiments, and reports to be paid from appropriations which may be made for the purpose, but the Academy shall receive no compensation whatever for any services to the Government of the United States.” The Academy’s first president was Alexander Dallas Bache (1806–1867). Today, the Academy and its sister organizations—the National Academy of Engineering, established in 1964, and the Institute of Medicine, established in 1970—serves as the country’s preeminent sources of advice on science and technology and their bearing on the nation’s welfare.

The National Research Council was established in 1916 by the National Academy of Sciences at the request of President Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924) “to bring into cooperation existing governmental, educational, industrial and other research organizations, with the object of encouraging the investigation of natural phenomena, the increased use of scientific research in the development of American industries, the employment of scientific methods in strengthening the national defense, and such other applications of science as will promote the national security and welfare.”

The National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine work through the National Research Council of the United States, one of the world’s most important advisory bodies. More than 6,000 scientists, engineers, industrialists, and health and other professionals participate in numerous committees that comprise the National Research Council.


What was the first national physics society organized in the United States?

The first national physics society in the United States was the American Physical Society, organized on May 20, 1899, at Columbia University in New York City. The first president was physicist Henry Augustus Rowland (1848–1901).


What was the first national chemical society organized in the United States?

The first national chemical society in the United States was the American Chemical Society, organized in New York City on April 20, 1876. The first president was John William Draper (1811–1882).


What was the first mathematical society organized in the United States?

The first mathematical society in the United States was the American Mathematical Society founded in 1888 to further the interests of mathematics research and scholarship. The first president was John Howard Van Amringe (1835–1915).


What was the first scientific journal?
The first scientific journal was Journal des Sçavans, published and edited by Denys de Sallo (1626–1669). The first issue appeared on January 5, 1665. It contained reviews of books, obituaries of famous men, experimental findings in chemistry and physics, and other general interest information. The publication was suspended following the thirteenth issue in March 1665. Although the official reason for the suspension of the publication was that de Sallo was not submitting his proofs for official approval prior to publication, there is speculation that the real reason for the suspension was his criticism of the work of important people, papal policy, and the old orthodox views of science. It was reinstated in January 1666 and continued as a weekly publication until 1724. The journal was then published on a monthly basis until the French Revolution in 1792. It was published briefly in 1797 under the title Journal des Savants. It began regular publication again in 1816 under the auspices of the Institut de France evolving as a general interest publication.


What is the oldest continuously published scientific journal?
The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, first published a few months after the first issue of the Journal des Sçavans, on March 6, 1665, is the old- est, continuously published scientific journal.


What was the first technical report written in English?
Geoffrey Chaucer’s (1343–1400) Treatise on the Astrolabe was written in 1391.

What scientific article has the most authors?
The article “First Measurement of the Left-Right Cross Section Asymmetry in Z-boson Production by e+e– Collisions,” published in Physical Review Letters, Volume 70, issue 17 (26 April 1993), pages 2,515–2,520, listed 406 authors on two pages.
 

What is the most frequently cited scientific journal article?
The most frequently cited scientific article is “Protein Measurement with the Folin Phenol Reagent” by Oliver Howe Lowry (1910–1996) and coworkers, published in 1951 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Volume 193, issue 1, pages 265–275. As of 2010, this article had been cited 292,968 times since it first appeared.


When was the Nobel Prize first awarded?
The Nobel Prize was established by Alfred Nobel (1833–1896) to recognize individuals whose achievements during the preceding year had conferred the greatest benefit to mankind. Five prizes were to be conferred each year in the areas of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, economic sciences, and peace. Although the Nobel passed away in 1896, the first prizes were not awarded until 1901.


Are there any multiple Nobel Prize winners?
Four individuals have received multiple Nobel prizes. They are Marie Curie (1867–1934, Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911; John Bardeen (1908–1991), Physics in 1956 and 1972; Linus Pauling (1901–1994), Chemistry in 1954 and Peace in 1962; and Frederick Sanger (1918–), Chemistry in 1958 and 1980.


Who was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize?
Marie Curie was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize. She received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 for her work on radioactivity in collaboration with her husband, Pierre Curie (1859–1906) and A.H. Becquerel (1852–1908). The 1903 prize in physics was shared by all three individuals. Marie Curie was also the first person to be awarded two Nobel Prizes and is one of only two individuals who have been awarded a Nobel Prize in two different fields.


When was the first time two women shared the Nobel Prize in the same field?
It was not until 2009 that two women shared the Nobel Prize in the same field. Carol W. Greider (1961–) and Elizabeth H. Blackburn (1948–) shared the Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Jack W. Szostak (1952–) for their discovery of how chromo- some are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.


Is there a Nobel Prize in mathematics?
We do not know for certain why Alfred Nobel did not establish a prize in mathematics. There are several theories revolving around his relationship and dislike for Gosta Mit- tag-Leffler (1846–1927), the leading Swedish mathematician in Nobel’s time. Most likely it never occurred to Nobel or he decided against another prize. The Fields Medal in mathematics is generally considered as prestigious as the Nobel Prize. The Fields Medal was first awarded in 1936. Its full name is now the CRM-Fields-PIMS prize. The 2009 winner was Martin Barlow (1953–) for his work in probability and in the behavior of diffusions on fractals and other disordered media.


What is the Turing Award?
The Turing Award considered the Nobel Prize in computing, is awarded annually by the Association for Computing Machinery to an individual who has made a lasting contribution of major technical importance in the computer field. The award, named for the British mathematician A.M. Turing (1912–1954), was first presented in 1966. The Intel Corporation and Google Inc. provide financial support for the $250,000 prize that accompanies the award. Recent winners of the Turing Award include:

Year         Award Recipient
2005 Peter Naur (1928–)
2006 Frances E. Allen (1932–)
2007 Edmund M. Clarke (1945–), E. Allen Emerson (1954–), Joseph Sifakis (1946–)
2008 Barbara H. Liskov (1939–)
2009 Charles P. Thacker (1943–)

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