Because the global scope of both Krakatoa’s effects and the news of its eruption quickly reached many interested observers, “for the first time, discrete local observations . . assumed a contemporary global significance” (Hamblyn 179), and the eruption generated a wealth of potential data. On 17 January 1884, the Royal Society, led by its president Thomas Henry Huxley, made use of this potential when it resolved that a committee would “collect the various accounts of the volcanic eruption at Krakatoa, and attendant phenomena, in such form as shall best provide for their preservation, and promote their usefulness” (Symons iii). (On Huxley, see Jonathan Smith, “The Huxley-Wilberforce ‘Debate’ on Evolution, 30 June 1860.″ ) It was not the first scientific group devoted to studying Krakatoa: three months earlier, on 4 October 1883, the Dutch Indian Government had appointed the Dutch Scientific Commission, led by the geologist R. D. M. Verbeek, to study the eruption. Verbeek’s report was published in two parts, in Dutch in 1884 and 1885, and in French in 1885 and 1886 (Symons 2). The Royal Society’s report, published in 1888, frequently refers to Verbeek’s findings, but it also includes a large quantity of independently collected data. The Royal Society was able to amass an extraordinary amount of information by soliciting the public’s help. The committee placed an advertisement in the London Times in February 1884 asking for “authenticated facts” and published papers concerning drifts of pumice, changes in barometric pressure and sea level, locations where explosions were heard, and unusual optical effects in the atmosphere (Symons iv). After it received numerous accounts from scientists and amateur observers, the multidisciplinary committee spent 28 months analyzing the data and writing the report, which was edited by G. J. Symons, the committee’s chair (Symons vi).