Name Details

Name: Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow
Dates: 1802-
Notes: Founded 1802 as the Glasgow Philosophical Society, later Philosophical Society of Glasgow. Created The Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow by King Edward VII on the occasion of the Society's centenary in 1902.
In the nineteenth century, many eminent people, many of them local including the physicist Lord Kelvin, belonged to the Society and used its platform to present important and influential scientific papers. During the 20th century, the growth of professional associations and the facilities afforded by the media distracted from the importance of the Society as a 'scientific shop window'. Membership declined and in the 1960s, the Society sold its prestigious premises in Bath Street, Glasgow.
Towards the end of the 20th century and into the 21st century, the Society has experienced a resurgence in membership numbers and attendance at lectures. Although scientific development continues to feature in the Society's programme of fortnightly lectures, the social sciences, moral philosophy and the arts have been given increasing prominence. Speakers include figures of national and international standing and the Society's own members.
[See website of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow,, accessed October 2014; Hugh MacDonald, 'In an age of frivolity and soap, hundreds are getting serious', The Herald, 13 November 2007]
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