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Paris Academy of Sciences

Nature volume 141, page 1093 (18 June 1938) | Download Citation



THE “Annuaire” of the Paris Academy of Sciences has for some years past included a biographical index of past and present members and correspondants of the Academy. In this year's volume (Paris: Gauthier Villars, 1938), this index is considerably enlarged ; notes have been added indicating the subject or subjects in which each individual was particularly interested, and the list of names has been augmented by including the members of the older body, the Royal Academy of Sciences (1666-1795). A paper read by Prof. Alfred Lacroix, one of the permanent secretaries of the Academy, at the meeting held on January 4 last (C.R., 206, 23), explains the changes that have been made and describes briefly the various previous attempts to provide a-complete statement of past and present members of the Academy. The archives of the Academy now have a separate file for each individual who has been connected with it, and every effort is being made, by searching national, parish and other records, to ensure that biographical details are correct. Further, by dint of most painstaking research, the documents relating to the proceedings of every meeting of the Academy, apart from biographical material, have been classified and they are now also arranged in files, one to each meeting from that of “6 nivôse an IV” (December 27, 1795). As regards meetings of the Royal Academy of Sciences, there are in the archives 109 large folio volumes of Proces verbaux prepared by the five successive permanent secretaries, J.-B. du Hamel, Fontenelle, Dortous de Mairan, Grandjean de Fouchy and Condorcet, which go back to the first meeting on December 22, 1666. The total number of men of science who have belonged to the Academy since 1666 is 2,071 (members, 992 ; correspondents, 1,079) ; it possesses nearly sixteen hundred autographs and about the same number of portraits.

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