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The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain$
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Martin Daunton

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263266

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263266.001.0001

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The Strange Late Birth of the British Academy

The Strange Late Birth of the British Academy

(p.388) (p.389) Chapter Eighteen: The Strange Late Birth of the British Academy
The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain

Richard Drayton

British Academy

The British Academy was founded in 1902. In November 1899, the Council of the Royal Society sent a letter to prominent scholars suggesting the formation of some body to represent Britain in disciplines other than the natural sciences. A meeting of the scholars gave its support for a suggestion that the Royal Society might give room to literary and human sciences in a special section, or support the foundation of a separate body. For over a year, the Royal Society deliberated, but concluded in June of 1901 that it could neither include the literary sciences within it, nor initiate the establishing of a British academy. It was thus the scientists who provided both stimulus and constraint for the mobilisation of human knowledge in the British Academy and to welcome all branches of intellectual enterprise within one temple.

Keywords:   British Academy, Royal Society, natural sciences, literary sciences, human sciences

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