The first AAAS meeting was held on 20 September 1848. So, not including this one, how many meetings do you think they’ve had so far? 160? Wrong. According to page one, paragraph six of the FAQ section of the press pack, the AAAS’s meetings haven’t been as annual as they would have you believe. On some years there have been two meetings. On others, rudely interrupted by events such as the Civil War, there has been none. All in all, the AAAS has had 174 meetings.
Troubled as to why some years have been special enough to warrant two science smorgasbords, I wandered back over to the Hynes centre to tap on some shoulders. “Oh, that must have been way back in…I don’t know,” Molly McElroy, the AAAS press officer told me. “Maybe they doubled-up to make up for when they missed a year.”
I’m not convinced. Still, Molly did recall a fat book back in Washington that “probably has the answer in somewhere.”