The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2001. Founded in 1876 in New York City, the Society now has 186 local sections in all 50 states, international chapters, and 32 technical divisions that bring together scientists with interests ranging from small business to environmental protection.
The text of the plaque commemorating the landmark reads:
On this site, 35 chemists formed the American Chemical Society, intending to stimulate original research, awaken and develop talent throughout the United States, provide fellowship, and ensure a better appreciation of the science by the general public. The Society’s first president, New York University Professor John W. Draper, was noted for his pioneering work in photography and photochemistry, as well as his writings in history and education. In his inaugural address, Draper challenged his chemical colleagues to “deliver unflinchingly to others the truths that Nature has delivered to us.” In the 125 years since its founding, the Society has grown to more than 163,000 members.