History and Role of the Association

The Systematics Association was founded in 1937 with Sir Julian Huxley at its head.  The inaugural meeting, attended by seventy-four biologists was held on Friday, June 25th at the Linnean Society, London. The role of the Association was to provide a forum for the discussion of the general theoretical and practical problems of taxonomy and an outline of the original objectives of the Association was published in Nature 140:163-164 (1937).

Since then, the Association has pioneered discussion on the many new developments in systematics: over 50 Special Volumes have been published, focusing on groups as diverse as haptophyte algae, tetrapods, lichens, free-living flagellates and haematophagous insects., and on fields such as phylogenetic reconstruction, systematics and conservation, genome evolution and the emergence of the biosphere.

The role of the Systematics Association remains to represent and further all aspects of Systematic biology. The Association organises a Biennial conference and a Young Systematists’ forum, to bring up-and-coming, as well as established systematists, together; it also funds special symposia. It continues to publish special volumes, and, with the Linnean Society, supports systematics through the Systematics Research Fund.