Armorial bearings of the BSA granted to the Association in 1937: Constellation of Libra & 平衡或
座右铭:Sed Omnia Disposuisti (taken from the Wisdom of Soloman ii, 20 (‘But Thou hast ordered all things in measure 和 number 和 weight’)

The 百乐博app下载 (BSA) was founded in 1831, as the British Association for the Advancement of Science.  

Britain's success in the Peninsular War, culminating in 1815 with the defeat of Napoleon, had left her in a state of exhaustion.  There had been a period of heavy inflation; there was an unrepresentative Parliamentary system that was finally to lead to the Reform Bill of 1832; it was not so long since Luddite b和s of the unemployed had attacked factories which had installed labour-saving machinery, 和 the Patent Law exacted an oppressive tax from 发明家.


Not only did post-war reconstruction in Engl和 lag behind that in other European countries, but neither the circumstances nor the ethos of the country was conducive to the prosecution of 科学. 事实上, in 1830, Professor Charles Babbage of Cambridge published Reflections on the Decline of Science in Engl和.  

It was to redress this balance that the British Association was founded. 

罪魁祸首是大卫·布鲁斯特, Editor of the Edinburgh Journal of Science 和 himself a scientist. 他写道[关于当时的英国]:
"被她战争般的胜利所鼓舞, she seems to have looked with contempt on the less dazzling achievements of her philosophers, 和, confiding in her past pre-eminence in the 艺术, to have calculated too securely on their permanence. 被外国黄金收买, 或者被外国礼节所奉承, her artisans have quitted her service — her machinery has been exported to distant markets — the inventions of her philosophers, 轻视在家, have been eagerly introduced abroad — her scientific institutions have been discouraged 和 even abolished — the articles which she supplied to other States have been gradually manufactured by themselves; 和, 一个接一个, 许多最好的 艺术 of Engl和 have been transferred to other nations…


Brewster chose York for the first meeting of the British Association “as the most central city in the three kingdoms”, 和 the recently founded Yorkshire Philosophical Society as its base.

The first meeting was held on 26 September 1831, 和 the following morning William Vernon Harcourt — son of Archbishop Vernon of York 和 Chairman of the Philosophical Society — formally proposed the foundation of “a British Association for the Advancement of Science, 对于它的对象, to give a stronger impulse 和 more systematic direction to scientific inquiry, to obtain a greater degree of national attention to the objects of 科学, 和 a removal of those disadvantages which impede its progress, 和 to promote the intercourse of the cultivators of 科学 with one another, 和外国哲学家".

This was the first of a series of annual meetings that has continued, 只有在战争年代才会损坏, for 150 years 和 has evolved into the 百乐博app下载. For at least the first hundred years of the Association's history, a 丝绸旗帜被委托 to mark the occasion of the annual meeting.  BSA目前是 undertaking a special project to protect, restore 和 open access to this valuable collection of banners - which not only chart the history of the organisation but also are a significant contribution to the UK's banner-making textile heritage, 从1820年开始.

The proceedings from each annual meeting from 1831 - 1938 are published in bound volumes. The BSA holds a set of these at our office in London; there are also copies at the British Library 和 at other copyright libraries throughout the UK. The proceedings contain transcripts of each paper given 和 reports from various committees. After 1938, the records of the 百乐博app下载 annual meetings are less complete.  

The Association inspired the formation of similar associations for the advancement of 科学 in other countries, as well as local scientific societies in Britain. The custom of holding its annual meetings in a wide number of cities in the UK led to the foundation, 例如, of the Edinburgh Geological Society; the 1855 meeting in Glasgow was followed by the founding of the Glasgow Geographical Society; the Norwich meeting of 1868 by the Norfolk 和 Norwich Naturalists’ Society, 等等. The activities of the 百乐博app下载 (as it is now known) have gradually changed in emphasis over the years.


除了年会之外, the British Association for the Advancement of Science was at the forefront of the development of scientific literature, recognising that there was a need for reports on the state of 科学 to be drawn up by experts “in order that those who pursue one branch of 科学 may know how to communicate with the enquirer in another 和 so that scientific students may know where to begin their labours”.

在随后的几十年, the work of the 百乐博app下载 developed, 多元化和演化.
科学家们, now much more numerous 和 specialised, have new ways of communicating their results to colleagues, 对媒体和公众. Our events are no longer primarily a forum for scientists to discuss amongst themselves the results of recent research.  

近几十年来, the BSA has continued to develop the links between specialist scientists, 其他学科的科学家, technologists 和 non-scientists of all ages so that the advances in 科学 can be understood, their technological applications exploited commercially 和 their implications for society as a whole examined.


Today, the BSA aims to diversify the community of people engaged with 科学.  Our programmes aim to encourage more people to enjoy, 参与科学, 和 to discuss 和 challenge 科学. 我们的愿景 is a future where 科学 is more relevant, representative, 和 connected to society.


The majority of the 百乐博app下载’s archive is held at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Over 400 items were deposited at the Bodleian in 1977, 包括正式的论文, minute books 和 reports related to our Annual Meetings. 我们还有很多项目, predominantly reports of the Annual Meeting from 1831, held at our Head Office in South Kensington.

We are currently performing an audit of our archive collections. If you have any items related to our history that you would like to donate or think that we may be interested in, 请联系 艾米MacLaren

For more information about our history, please see the following publications:

The British Association: A Retrospect 作者:O J R Howarth. 第一版, published in 1922 covers the years 1831-1922; a second edition published to coincide with the 百乐博app下载’s centenary in 1931 covers the hundred years from 1831-1931.

To mark the BSA’s sesquicentenary in 1981, two books were published:

科学议会, Editors Roy Macleod 和 Peter Collins, Science Reviews Ltd, London; 和 先生们的科学, Jack Morrell 和 Arnold Thackeray, Oxford.