200th Anniversary

In 2019 we celebrated our 200th year with a programme of special events in and around Cambridge.

These included the 'Discovery: 200 Years of the Cambridge Philosophical Society' exhibition at the Cambridge University Library (8 March - 31 August, 2019), which featured rarely seen archive material and items from the Society’s fascinating history, which helped turn Cambridge from a scientific backwater into the world-famous centre for research it is today.

Our bicentenary year also saw the publication of The Spirit of Inquiry, a new book on the Society’s history by respected Cambridge author Susannah Gibson, which explores how our extraordinary society helped shape modern science.

We also held a themed two-day meeting entitled “The Futures of Sciences”. Both the exhibition and the two-day meeting were free and open to all – as is our whole programme of lectures.

The Cambridge Philosophical Society Seal, bearing an image of Newton, 1832

Photo: The Cambridge Philosophical Society Seal, bearing an image of Newton, 1832

Cambridge Philosophical Society Blue Plaque at 17 All Saints Passage, Cambridge.

Photo: Cambridge Philosophical Society Blue Plaque at 17 All Saints Passage, Cambridge.

Discovery: 200 Years of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, which runs from March 8-August 31, 2019 at Cambridge University Library, charts two centuries of the Society’s key role in some of the most significant scientific advances of the day, including Darwin’s theory of evolution, Cambridge’s first Nobel Prize winner Lord Rayleigh’s seminal work on waves, and the birth of ‘Big Data’ experiments from the 19th century.

{description}
Discovery Exhibition Catalogue

Download a fully illustrated PDF version of the Discovery exhibition catalogue.

Download

Society Timeline

  1. 1819

    Cambridge Philosophical Society Founded

  2. 1846

    New Botanic Garden opens

  3. 1848

    New Fitzwilliam Museum building opens

  4. 1851

    Natural Sciences Tripos starts

  5. 1874

    Cavendish laboratory opens

  6. 1884

    Balfour laboratory for women opens

  7. 1914

    Women first eligible as honorary fellows of CPS

    Marie Curie
    Marie Curie
  8. 1929

    Women eligible to be full fellows of CPS

  9. 1948

    Women first awarded degrees

  10. 1967

    Philosophical Library becomes Scientific Periodicals Library

  11. 2010

    Henslow Fellowship scheme launched

  12. 2019

    Society’s Bicentenary

    Blue Plaque, Saints Passage, Cambridge
    Blue Plaque, Saints Passage, Cambridge

Publications

Discover our Journals & Books

From Darwin’s paper on evolution to the development of stem cell research, publications from the Society continue to shape the scientific landscape.

Membership

Join the Cambridge Philosophical Society

Become a Fellow of the Society and enjoy the benefits that membership brings. Membership costs £20 per year.

Join today

Upcoming Events

Show All

31

01

G I TAYLOR LECTURE – Professor Eric Lauga

Professor Eric Lauga

  • 18:00 - 19:00 Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

Abstract not available

View Details

23

02

Honorary Fellows Lecture - Professor Richard Henderson CH FRS FMedSci HonFRSC

Professor Richard Henderson

  • 18:00 - 19:00 Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

Abstract not available

View Details