The American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge.” The Society sustains its mission in four principal ways. It honors and engages distinguished scientists, humanists, social scientists, and leaders in civic and cultural affairs through elected membership and opportunities for interdisciplinary, intellectual fellowship, particularly in the semi-annual Meetings in Philadelphia.
Today the Society has 1,013 elected members, 845 resident members and 168 international members from more than two dozen foreign countries. Only 5,676 members have been elected since 1743. Since 1900, more than 260 members have received the Nobel Prize.
Only two other Dana-Farber faculty are currently also members of the APS: David Nathan, MD and Stuart Orkin, MD.
The APS supports research and discovery through grants and fellowships, lectures, publications, prizes, exhibitions, and public education. It serves scholars through a research library of some 13 million manuscripts and other collections internationally recognized for their enduring scholarly value. The American Philosophical Society’s current activities reflect the founder’s spirit of inquiry, provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas, and convey the conviction of its members that intellectual inquiry and critical thought are inherently in the public interest.