Organizing Meeting — Baltimore, Maryland,
December 28, 1908
On the invitation of John J. Abel, 18 pharmacologists met in Abel's laboratory to organize a new society. They elected Abel as Temporary Chairman and Reid Hunt as Temporary Secretary.
Hunt took three pages of minutes, which he and Abel both signed, and had them mimeographed. Four articles of agreement were unanimously adopted.
In order to further the growth of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics in this country and to facilitate personal intercourse among investigators in these branches of science, we hereby organize the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and subscribe ourselves thereto as its founders.
The management of the Society will be left in a Council of seven members — a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer and four councilors.
The Council is to prepare a constitution, to consider ways and means for permanent establishment of the Society, and furtherance of its purposes by calling meetings.
Twelve members in the person or by proxy will constitute a quorum until a constitution is adopted.
The officers for the following year were elected: J. J. Abel, President; R. Hunt, Secretary; A. S. Loevenhart, Treasurer; S. J. Meltzer, T. Sollmann, C. W. Edmunds, and A. C. Crawford, Councilors. Before adjournment Abel announced the establishment of The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPET) and invited the members to be collaborators. The sentiment of the Society was that although members pledged collaboration, they had neither official duties nor rights.
Of the 18 founders, Abel initially used his private address, 3 New Yorkers their office addresses, and all others their university or government affiliation as follows:
John J. Abel, Station L, Baltimore, Maryland
Carl L. Alsberg, Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
John Auer, 13 W. 121st Street, New York, New York City
Albert C. Crawford, Bureau of Animal Industry, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
Charles W. Edmunds, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
J. A. English Eyster, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
W. Worth Hale, Hygienic Laboratory, 25th and E Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Robert A. Hatcher, 414 E. 26th Street, New York City
Velyien E. Henderson, Pharmacological Department, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Reid Hunt, Hygienic Laboratory, 25th and E. Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Arthur S. Loevenhart, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
Samuel A. Mathews, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Samuel J. Meltzer, 13 W. 121st Street, New York City
William Salant, Bureau of Chemistry, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
Torald Sollmann, Medical Department, Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Maurice V. Tyrode, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Carl Voegtlin, Johns Hopkins Medical School, E. Monument Street, Baltimore, Maryland
Horatio C. Wood, Jr., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
After the New Year of 1909 Abel corresponded repeatedly with C. W. Edmunds on the extension of membership, the draft of the constitution, and publication of JPET. Although the typewriter was available at the time, they frequently wrote in longhand to each other and to other members of the Council. It should be noted that the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics started out as a joint project between Canada and the United States because V. E. Henderson was from the University of Toronto. The founders first thought of calling the new society the American Pharmacological Society, but this was already in use by a commercial group, so they chose a different name and made it longer by adding "Experimental Therapeutics"—chiefly to emphasize the relation to chemotherapy and a prophecy of things to come. This was revealed by T. Sollmann in his after-dinner speech in Detroit on April 21, 1949. It now appears very appropriate in view of the establishment of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology (now the Division for Integrative Systems, Translational and Clinical Pharmacology). In fact, many of the papers published in JPET throughout the years conform to the true meaning of the last two words of ASPET.
For more information on the history of ASPET see:
Chen, K. K., The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics - The First Sixty Years 1908-1969, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 1969.
Parascandola, J., A Brief History of ASPET on Its Centennial Anniversary, Molecular Interventions 7: 288-302 (2007).
Cohen, M.L., Brevig, H., Carrico, C. and Wecker, L., Women in ASPET: A Centennial Perspective, 2007.
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Last updated: December 29, 2015