APS: July News and Events

Major Grant for Native American Scholars Initiative
NASI Interns and program director
The American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia is thrilled to announce a $1.644 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of its Native American Scholars Initiative (NASI) at the Society’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR). This program, which began in 2016 with the support of a grant from the Foundation, has so far provided fellowships to six predoctoral resident fellows, five postdoctoral resident fellows, 12 undergraduate interns, and 15 Digital Knowledge Sharing fellows. It has also funded programming, including annual Digital Knowledge Sharing workshops and conferences that draw scholars of Native American and Indigenous studies and researchers engaged in community-based projects from across North America. The new grant will fund these fellowships through 2026 and increase the program’s reach through the creation of a Career Pathways Fellowship and the hiring of an Engagement Coordinator.
Pictured: 2021 NASI Interns Tieranny Keahna, Dynette Chavez, and Nancy Mendoza-Ruiz with NASI Program Director Tiffanie Hardbarger
Upcoming Virtual Programs
Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Sarah B. Pomeroy (APS 2014) will discuss her new book published by the APS Press, which tells the story of Benjamin Franklin’s lifelong delight in swimming and his influence in making swimming popular in the western world. This book uses Franklin’s love of swimming to examine the founder’s life, times, and personality and reveals the “useful knowledge” behind swimming.
Thursday, July 22, 2021, 6:00 p.m. EDT
Eric Herschthal’s new book, The Science of Abolition, shows how Black and white scientists and abolitionists drew upon a host of scientific disciplines—from chemistry, botany, and geology to medicine and technology—to portray slaveholders as the enemies of progress. From the 1770s through the 1860s, scientists and abolitionists in Britain and the United States argued that slavery stood in the way of scientific progress, blinded slaveholders to scientific evidence, and prevented enslavers from adopting labor-saving technologies that might eradicate enslaved labor.
Thursday, July 29, 2021, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Community science projects are flourishing across the Philadelphia region. Tune in to hear how the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is training visitors to be naturalists and learn more about Bartram’s Garden’s advocacy for water quality in the Schuylkill River through a partnership with staff, high school interns, and volunteers.
Dr. Franklin, Citizen Scientist Opens August 6
After much anticipation, the American Philosophical Society’s exhibition Dr. Franklin, Citizen Scientist will open to visitors on August 6. Timed entry tickets will be available to reserve through the APS website starting July 19.
Taking inspiration from Benjamin Franklin’s commitment to the pursuit of knowledge for the “Benefit of Mankind in General,” Dr. Franklin, Citizen Scientist considers the relationship between science and public life in the 18th-century Atlantic World. The exhibition examines the production, circulation, application, and accessibility of scientific knowledge through the life and work of Benjamin Franklin. Throughout, it highlights lesser-known contributors to the scientific enterprise and the various spaces where science was performed. The exhibition connects Franklin’s scientific pursuits to contemporary issues in science and society.
Rare Copy of Declaration of Independence Discovered at APS
The APS has discovered a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence in its collections. The eighth known paper copy of engraver William J. Stone’s iconic rendering of the Declaration was recently authenticated through conservation treatment, a close physical examination, and reinforced by archival evidence.
Read more about the discovery and watch a presentation from APS Librarian Patrick Spero and Head of Conservation Anne Downey about the Declarations in the APS collections and the science behind the discovery. The find was also covered in a feature article in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
APS Member News
Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma Release Album
Yo-Yo Ma (APS 1999) and Emanuel Ax (APS 2009) have released an album of Beethoven’s five sonatas for cello and piano titled Hope Amid Tears. Ax performed a concert for the Spring 2021 General Meeting of the APS. Watch here.
Scott Edwards Completed Cross-Country Bike Ride
Scott Edwards (APS 2020) embarked on a cross-country bike ride from Massachusetts to Oregon last summer, raising over $60,000 in support of diversity initiatives in evolutionary biology.
Leadership Medal for Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson (APS 1999) received the Benjamin Franklin House Medal for Leadership. The medal recognizes extraordinary individuals following in Franklin’s footsteps who exemplify a commitment to justice, cross-cultural understanding, tolerance, and humanity.
More Updates from APS Members
  • V. Ramanathan (APS 2006) will receive the Blue Planet Prize from the Asahi Glass Foundation.
  • Paul Alivisatos (APS 2015) has been named the John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Chemistry, the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and the College at the University of Chicago.
  • Jianguo (Jack) Liu (APS 2015, pictured) will receive the Gunnerus Sustainability Prize from the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
New Acquisitions
The Society’s newest acquisitions include a manuscript journal by Charles E. Wriggens detailing his eight trips to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia 1876–1877 and a collection of Hopi legends as told to Harry James.
“Recollections, etc. The Centennial” by Charles E. Wriggens
Haliksai! (1940)