The Society’s History
THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY has a clear and honorable lineal descent, traced back through four generations to its great-great-grandparent, the Association of American Geologists, organized in 1840. Its great-grandparent was the Association of American Geologists and Naturalists, dated 1843. The grandparent is the yet flourishing American Association for the Advancement of Science, organized in 1848, and its immediate progenitor is Section E (Geology and Geography) of the American Association which dates from 1882. The Geological Society, the fifth generation in a time space of forty-eight years, is a reversion to type
THE SOCIETY came in time, fortunately, to have on its roll of Fellows several of the famous names in American geology of the middle decades of the nineteenth century; the men who were self-taught in earth science and who founded the schools. To most of the present Fellowship these men are only revered names, but to a few of us who are yet living they were admired friends.
The writer had a mind to name as a roll of honor the aged and eminent men who participated in the organization and early life of the Society; but, realizing that choice for honors is usually partial and invidious, often unjust and sometimes foolish, he may not wisely make such selection. The reader will choose a few names of high worth in the lists of attendants at the meeting in the year 1888, and from the roster of Original Fellows. But this would omit the names of eminent geologists of Canada.
The Society has made an extended honor roll, in the list of its officers through forty-three years. Yet such roll for honor is very incomplete, because many Original Fellows of age and eminence passed away before the Society could honor them with the presidency. Some of the following names will be selected by every reader as worthy of inclusion in any roll of high honor in geology:
Figures & Tables
Written in 1931 by Herman LeRoy Fairchild, and with an introduction by Joseph Stanley-Brown, this definitive history of the Geological Society of America covers the first forty-three years of the Society. It contains sections devoted to an overview of early geological research, the Society's background, key players in the Society's creation and history, and information on the Society's membership, publications, meetings, constitution, and more.