The Geological Society of London is the world's oldest national scientific and professional society for Earth
scientists and was founded on 13 November 1807 at a dinner at the Freemasons Tavern, Great Queen Street, Covent Garden. The minutes of the meeting record that there were thirteen founder members. This meeting resolved:
'That there be forthwith instituted a Geological Society for the purpose of making geologists acquainted with each other, of stimulating their zeal, of inducing them to adopt one nomenclature, of facilitating the communications of new facts and of ascertaining what is known in their science and what remains to be discovered.'
You can still have a drink in a Freemasons Arms in Long Acre, though the original one, in which the Society was founded, stood where the nearby Connaught Rooms are now to be found. A plaque to this effect was unveiled on 12 November, by RIchard Fortey.
How We Celebrated
To celebrate this auspicious birthday in 2007, the Geological Society of London organised an ambitious range of activities, geared partly towards understanding its own history, but mostly towards looking forward into the next 200 years of Earth sciences.
The year began with the launch of 4567 all natural, fully biodegradable environmentally friendly balloons - one for every million years of Earth history - at Burlington House in January 2007, and ended the celebrations with a dinner at Natural History Museum, on 13 November 2007. You can find out more about the activities held by the Society to celebrate our Bicentenary below:
- Bicentennial Conference
- Bicentennial grand celebratory dinner
- Local Heroes Initiative
- Guided London walks
- Arthur Holmes meetings
- Bicentenary Shell Regional University lecture series
- Lyell Centre project
Our Bicentenary ties in with International Year of Planet Earth
– the biggest international outreach programme ever devised for the Earth sciences. The coincidence of the International Year with the Society's Bicentenary places the Bicentenary in the context of something much larger - something that will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.