About the AG


History of the Anatomische Gesellschaft

The Anatomische Gesellschaft was founded in 1886 in Berlin to promote anatomical sciences. From its beginning, the society aimed to be international and therefore explicitly avoided the term "German" in its title. The foundation year 1886 also saw the publication of the first issue of the "Anatomischer Anzeiger" (today: Annals of Anatomy), which intended to counteract "the isolation of individual scientific aspirations". To support international exchange, it welcomed articles in English, French, Italian, and Latin. Around 1900, the Anatomische Gesellschaft already had 400 members, less than half being from Germany. This international outlook was acutely endangered by the two world wars, but it did protect the society from being closed or "Germanised" during the Nazi period and it helped its persistence during the post-war division of Germany. The annual meetings of the society, organised by alternating institutes of anatomy, quickly developed into central places of scientific debate. This included the discussion of new concepts like the controversial neuron doctrine or of new methods like the staining techniques of Ramon y Cajal and Golgi – both members of the society – or like, later, electron microscopy.

Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Winkelmann, MHB, Neuruppin

[Go] to the Anat. Gesellschaft meetings in the spring: where you will always find the real anatomists assembled.

Australian anatomist Grafton E Smith to a British colleague in 1905