The Trustees of Biological Abstracts, 1927–1976

  • William Campbell Steere


In 1927, when Biological Abstracts was first incorporated and became a legal entity, the board of trustees consisted of prominent and recognized leaders in the biological community. For several years before that the Joint Publications Committee of the Union of American Biological Societies and the Division of Biology and Agriculture of the National Research Council—which metamorphosed, en masse, into the first board—made plans for and guided the actual establishment of Biological Abstracts, and then supervised the actual operation during 1926, which culminated in the first published issue of Biological Abstracts. At first, the board of trustees was self-perpetuating, with no specific terms for members; Hitchens, for example, served as a trustee from 1927 until 1944! Since 1938, however, trustees have been elected for three-year terms, with the possibility of serving two terms if reelected but not a third one. They are selected from all professional areas that are concerned with the life sciences, both theoretical and applied, and with the communication of scientific information: university professors and administrators, civil servants, scientists from private research institutions, librarians (including the directors of great university and governmental libraries), and representatives of important industrial corporations. Among the 105 outstanding individuals who have served as trustees—or are now serving as trustees—many have been elected to the presidency of AIBS, AAAS, and other prestigious societies.


Civil Servant Legal Entity Actual Establishment Section Editor Joint Publication 
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Copyright information

© Biosciences Information Service of Biological Abstracts 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Campbell Steere
    • 1
  1. 1.New York Botanical GardenUSA

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