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Join The Leidy Society

Members of the Leidy Society make the Wagner what it is today—just as Joseph Leidy made it what it was in 1885.


Joseph Leidy, who directed the Wagner from 1885 until his death in 1891, was a physician-turned-researcher who dabbled in many branches of science, and, enviably, excelled in all of them. As a biologist, he discovered the cause and cure for trichinosis. As a paleontologist, he assembled the first complete dinosaur skeleton (Hadrosaurus foulkii) at the Academy of Natural Sciences. And as head of the Wagner’s faculty, he reorganized the specimens to create a vital teaching tool, designed the museum to illustrate geologic time, and launched fruitful expeditions into the field.


Joseph Leidy transformed the Wagner. Today’s Leidy Society is vital in preserving his work. By pledging annual gifts of $1,885 or more, Leidy Society members provide the funds we need to support the museum and its egalitarian mission. Thanks to them, we can preserve Leidy’s masterwork, offer free talks and courses, and get city kids excited about the workings of the natural world.


Members of the Leidy Society are invited to our Leidy Society Dinner, an annual gathering that highlights one facet of our work. The dinner features a guest speaker notable in the sciences, humanities, or education and the intimate setting is intended to permit personal interaction between the speaker and guests. It's our way of thanking our most loyal supporters!

Join the Leidy Society Today!


For more information, contact Kelly at or 215-763-6529 x11.