The Marine Biological Association was founded on this day in 1884.
The MBA was born on this day in 1884! We may be 136 years old, but the MBA is a force for the future of marine biology. The Association is a growing, international community of marine biology professionals, researchers, students, and the interested public. Also, our world-class research teams at our Citadel Hill laboratory in Plymouth, UK push scientific boundaries, collaborate on the global stage and nurture future talent.
In 2013, the Association was granted a Royal Charter in recognition of its long and eminent history and its status within the field of marine biology.
The Marine Biological Association has a world-leading reputation for marine biological research.
The objects of the Association are:
"to promote the investigation, and to disseminate knowledge, of the seas and marine life,
including the use of marine and other organisms for basic biosciences
for the benefit of the public (where biosciences means marine biology in its widest sense)”.
The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom was formed at a meeting held in the rooms of the Royal Society in London on 31 March 1884, which followed discussions on the commercial and scientific aspects of the fishing industry at the International Fisheries Exhibition the year before. Professor T.H. Huxley was elected as the first President of the Association, with E. Ray Lankester as Honorary Secretary.
Plymouth made the most compelling case to have the new laboratory built on its shore. Construction of the laboratory began in February 1887 on the Citadel Hill site and was completed in June 1888.
Since 1884, the MBA has continued to promote marine biology in many ways including establishing summer schools and field courses for the public, opening an aquarium, developing a world-renowned collection of literature at our National Library, and hosting Nobel-prize winning scientists.
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A comprehensive account of the history of the Marine Biological Association can be downloaded here.