California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration
150th Anniversary Celebration 150 Years: A Timeline 150 Years of Research The New Academy

150 Years: A Timeline — 1848-1905 | 1906-1941 | 1942-1976 | 1977-2003

1945 - United Nations founded
in San Francisco

 

1948
IN SEARCH OF
"LIVING FOSSILS"

The dawn redwood, long thought extinct,
is rediscovered in China. The Academy mounts
a joint expedition to the site with China’s
Lingnan University.

Led by entomologist J. Linsley Gressit, the team hopes to find insects that evolved with the ancient trees. Researchers return with thousands of specimens, plus dawn redwood seeds and seedlings — some of which grow today at Strybing Arboretum.

 

 

1950
SCIENCE, LIVE, ON TV!

Embracing television as a promising new
medium for teaching science, the Academy begins producing its own weekly TV program. Science in Action features Steinhart Aquarium’s director, Earl Herald, with guest scientists.

The popular educational program remains
on the air for sixteen years — a generation grew up with it!

 

 

1952
THE ACADEMY'S
MORRISON PLANETARIUM

After World War II, plans for a new
planetarium looked bleak: Carl Zeiss Optics in Germany, the only source for planetarium projectors, is now behind the Iron Curtain.

Undaunted, skilled Academy Instrument Shop technicians and a small group of amateur astronomers construct a unique and excellent star projector for San Francisco.

1953 - Discovery of the double helix
structure of DNA
1954
THE FIRST BAY AREA
SCIENCE FAIR

Waiting anxiously among the exhibits at the California Academy of Sciences dozens of high school students agonize as scientists from the Academy, industry and Bay Area universities judge and rank their science projects.

1962
GAINING WORLD CLASS
COLECTIONS

In terms of biological diversity, the Academy has one of the world’s largest natural history collections.

It doubles and triples in size as the Academy acquires “orphan” collections: As universities move into molecular biology, many no longer want to keep specimen collections.

Appreciating their value, the Academy makes room for them.

1972 - Theory of puncuated
equilibrium published
1973 - American biochemists
recombine DNA fragments
1972
COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

The size and scope of research collections and curatorial staff expand rapidly, while dramatic increases are also seen in exhibition and education programs.

Executive Director since 1963, botanist George E. Lindsay fosters growth throughout the Academy.

 

California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration