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In acronyms, BAAS (LH:#) stands for the British Association for the Advancement of Science, founded in 1831, renamed “British Science Association” (BSA) in 2009.


In 1831, William Harcourt, following a suggestion by David Brewster, who was disillusioned with the elitist and conservative attitude of the Royal Society (founded: 1660), founded the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS), modeled on the German Society of Natural Scientists and Physicians (founded: 1822)[1], the aim being to promote the development and advancement of science. Founding members include: Charles Babbage, William Whewell, and J. F. W. Johnston.

Each year a new and notable president is elected.[2]

In 1833, Adam Sedgwick (president, 1833), a reverend and geologist, battled William Whewell (president, 1841), a reverend and polymath, over the term “scientist”, coined by Whewell (1834) in summary of the debate, in respect to “atheist[3]

In 1874, John Tyndall, who gave his famous “Atheistic Materialism” address, which erupted into the four year prolonged “Tyndall vs Stewart and Tait debate”, involving Balfour Stewart, Peter Tait, and James Maxwell.[4]


In 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was founded, modeled, in some sense, on the BAAS.[5]


The following are related quotes:

“The point now reached is that the conceptions of physics and chemistry are insufficient to enable us to understand physiological phenomena.”
— John S. Haldane (1908), “Presidential Address”, BAAS, Physiological Section, Dublin; cited by Arabella Kenealy (1914) in “Is Man an Electrical Organism” (pg. 101)[6]

End matter


  1. Society of German Natural Scientists and Physicians – Wikipedia.
  2. BAAS Presidents – Wikipedia.
  3. Whewell-Coleridge debate – Hmolpedia 2020.
  4. Tyndall vs Stewart and Tait debate – Hmolpedia 2020.
  5. American Association for the Advancement of Science – Wikipedia.
  6. Kenealy, Arabella. (1914). “Is Man an Electrical Organism?” (pg. 101), The Nineteenth Century and After, 76:101-30.

External links

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