APS at 125: A Look Back at the Founding of the American Physiological Society
ARMY INST OF SURGICAL RESEARCH FORT SAM HOUSTON TX
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Early efforts in physiological research in the United States were produced by lone investigators working in laboratories funded by their own medical practices. In Europe, however, Claude Bernard and Carl Ludwig produced a new model of scientific research laboratories funded by the state that sought to develop the pursuit of biomedical research as an occupation. American physicians such as Henry Pickering Bowditch and S. Weir Mitchell were exposed to this new research ethic during their international studies and brought this new perspective home to America. Along with H. Newell Martin, these men began training professional physiologists who would assume new research positions in academic institutions. In 1887, Bowditch, Mitchell, and H. Newell Martin proposed the formation of a new society for these professional physiologists, the American Physiological Society APS. Seventeen of the original twenty-eight members met on December 30, 1887, in New York City, NY, to establish APS. From these humble beginnings, APS evolved to become a force for change in American biomedical science.
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