The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, formerly the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, is the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the New World. It was founded in 1812 by many of the leading naturalists of the young republic with an expressed mission of "the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences". For over two centuries of continuous operations, the Academy has sponsored expeditions, conducted original environmental and systematics research, and amassed natural history collections containing more than 17 million specimens. The Academy also has a long tradition of public exhibits and educational programs for both schools and the general public.
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