From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:
The Philophysian Society was formed by seven students who met on July 17, 1818 at No. 48, University Hall, “for the purpose of forming a Society for trying experiments and acquiring knowledge in Chemistry, Botany and Mineralogy and other branches in Natural Science.” According to the constitution of the Society, meetings were to be every other Friday at 7 P.M. Any member could propose questions on “philosophical subjects” to be debated or experiments to be tried. The Prudential Committee of the society was in charge of the apparatus belonging to the society. Every member was to exhibit an original essay on some philosophical subject during each college term and could be fined 25 cents for failing to do so. Records of the Society (the earliest of which spell its names “Philophusian") exist up until 1826.
The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright ©1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.