A Brief History

The Harvey Society was founded April 1, 1905, by 13 New York scientists and physicians, who met at 9 East 74th Street, the home of physiologist Graham Lusk. The stated purpose of the Society was to forge a "closer relationship between the purely practical side of medicine and the results of laboratory investigation." The group included Samuel J Meltzer, William H Park, Edward K Dunham, James Ewing, Frederick S Lee, Christian Herter, Simon Flexner, George B Wallace, Theodore C Janeway, Phoebus A Levene, and Eugene L Opie. The meeting was also attended by John J Abel, a noted pharmacologist from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Simon Flexner
Simon Flexner
Graham Lusk
Graham Lusk

Founding Officers:

Graham Lusk, President
Simon Flexner, Vice President
George B Wallace, Secretary
Frederick S Lee, Treasurer

The Harvey Society lectures reflect "the evolution of physiology and physiological chemistry into biochemistry and the development of molecular biology from the roots of bacteriology and biochemistry" in this century. One of the important facets of this lecture series is that they are published annually. The Harvey Society is continuing to achieve its primary goal of providing "a series of distinguished lectures in the life sciences" and, in fact, "there are a few lectures of such distinction delivered uninterruptedly over a period of more than 70 years in any other city in the world."1

Harvey once wrote, "My trust is in my love of truth and the candour of cultivated minds." For as long as those who are invited to deliver a Harvey Lecture heed these words, they honour the name of William Harvey, and the Harvey Society of New York has a high and noble future.1

Further Reading:
Harvey Society Constitution
Harvey Society By-Laws
Former Harvey Society Officers & Council
Harvey Society Lecture Series Speakers & Abstracts (2003- )
Harvey Society Lecture Series Speakers & Abstracts (1905-1919)

Progress of Medicine During the Past Twenty-Five Years as Exemplified by the Harvey Society Lectures Science 71:617-627 (1930)

1Excerpted from an article in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Summer 1978, pages 524-535, by AG Bearn and DG James.