<i>Scientific Institutions</i>

Geoffrey Cantor

in Quakers, Jews, and Science

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276684
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603389 | DOI:
 Scientific Institutions

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This chapter seeks to analyse the involvement of Jews and Quakers in a range of scientific institutions. One is the Royal Society of London, the membership of which was open to non-Anglicans since no corporeal oath was required. The membership patterns of both Jews and Quakers displayed networks of business and of patronage, as illustrated by the career of Emanuel Mendes da Costa among others. Quakers flocked to the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), which they found ideologically appealing. Quaker social and political interests were also reflected in the Aborigines’ Protection Society and the Ethnological Society, where they adopted a monogenist stance that was opposed by other ethnologists. Jewish concerns with assimilation and improvement were manifested in the Jews’ and General Scientific and Literary Institution (1844-59). Both communities were greatly attracted by the Great Exhibition (1851), but in different ways: for the Anglo-Jewry, it raised the question of whether Jews were intellectually able; the Quakers saw it as a harbinger of world peace.

Keywords: scientific institutions; patronage; Royal Society of London; Emanuel Mendes da Costa; BA; Aborigines’ Protection Society; Ethnological Society; Jews’ and General Scientific and Literary Institution; Great Exhibition; pacifism

Chapter.  24800 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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