Society of Friends of Science

Society of Friends of Science

Society of Friends of Science ( _pl. Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk, TPN) was one of the first Polish scientific society which functioned in Warsaw from 1800 to 1832.


In Polish, the society was also known as "Warszawskie Królewskie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk" (Warsaw Royal Society of Friends of Science); sometimes the word Royal is omitted from the title. When translating the name into English, some authors use 'association' instead of 'society', and 'learning' instead of 'science'.


The Society was founded in 1800; its tradition can be traced to the Thursday's dinners held by last of the Polish kings, Stanisław August Poniatowski. [,M1] [] From 1824 it was located in the Staszic Palace (after it was renovated in 1820-1823), bought for the organization by one of its most prominent activists and ideologue, Stanisław Staszic [] . In 1828 it had 185 members. [] The society flourished in the Duchy of Warsaw and Congress Poland, but it was eventually dissolved by the Russian authorities in the aftermath of the failed November Uprising, when many Polish cultural organizations were delegalized as part of the repressions. [] [] [,M1] Its traditions were continued by the Warsaw Scientific Society ("Towarzystwo Naukowe Warszawskie")


The Society was an important part of the second half of the Enlightenment in Poland, preserving Polish culture and science after the partitions of Poland damaged the fledging Polish education system (After the world's first ministry of education, the Komisja Edukacji Narodowej - Polish for "Commission of National Education" - was abolished, many schools were closed and Germanization and Russification begun). [,M1] The Society gathered Polish scientists, academics, writers and their sponsors throughout partitioned Poland; [,M1] many of whom met twice in month in Warsaw for discussions. The creation and activities of the Society had a very significant impact on the development of science in Poland. It supported various scientific pursuits, from research, through creation of museums and libraries, organizing various events to supporting education and publishing. The society sought to popularize learning and shape intellectual and artistic trends, it also had a very broad membershipSpecify|date=March 2008Fact|date=March 2008.

After the Zaluski Library had been removed by the Russians to St. Petersburg, the Society's library was the greatest public library in former Poland. [] It's collection was partially confiscated by Russians in 1832 [] [] and later parts of it were destroyed by Nazis during the Second World War. [,M1] It had its own journal, 'Annals of Warsaw Society of Friends of Science' ("Roczniki Warszawskiego Towarzystwa Przyjaciół Nauk", tomes 1-21 published 1802-30) [] , and 'Warsaw Diary' ("Pamiętnik Warszawski"), a serious monthly modeled on publications such as the Edinburgh Review. [,M1]

While many of its members were dedicated to the study of history of Poland (Joachim Lelewel) or Polish language (Samuel Linde), others were engaged in the practical implementation of new inventions and spreading ideas of the Industrial Revolution throughout Poland. Staszic was responsible for significant improvements in mining, Tadeusz Czacki worked on controlling the rivers, others were involved in applying the sciences of engineering, medicine and others.

Since the Warsaw Society was disbanded in 1832 organizations in other cities have begun using the name of ' [Town] Society of Friends of Science', for example, the Poznań Society of Friends of Arts and Sciences.

Notable members

*Jan Chrzciciel Albertrandy (1800-1808)
*Stanislaw Staszic (1808-1826)
*Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz (1826-1832):Activists:
*Jerzy Samuel Bandtkie
*Feliks Bentkowski
*Tadeusz Czacki
*Jan Niepomucen Janowski
*Hugo Kollataj
*Onufry Kopczyński
*Jan Kossakowski
*Michał Dymitr Krajewski
*Onufry Kopczyński
*Samuel Linde
*Joachim Lelewel
*Krzysztof Celestyn Mrongovius
*Józef Maksymilian Ossoliński
*Stanisław Kostka Potocki
*Johann Christian Schuch
*Fryderyk Skarbek
*Jan Śniadecki
*Jędrzej Śniadecki
*Abraham Stern
*Ignacy Zaborowski

ee also

*Polish Academy of Sciences (headquartered in Warsaw).
*Polish Academy of Learning (headquartered in Kraków).


*Polish|Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk|7 December 2006
* [ Warsaw Society of the Friends of Science] entry at Scholarly Societies Project
*pl icon [ Entry] in PWN Encyklopedia
*pl icon [,haslo.html Entry] in WIEM Encyklopedia
*pl icon [ Entry] in Encyklopedia Internautica

External links

*pl icon [ Homepage] of Warsaw Society of Friends of Science

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