Stephen Jay Gould

From: Hofmann, Jim (
Date: Mon May 20 2002 - 16:27:54 EDT

  • Next message: george murphy: "death of stephen gould"

    Famed Harvard Biologist Gould Dies=20
    Mon May 20, 3:52 PM ET=20
    BOSTON (AP) - Stephen Jay Gould, a famed evolutionary biologist and =
    prolific author who influenced his field for decades, died Monday. He =
    was 60.
    Gould died of cancer at his home in New York City, according to his =
    assistant, Stephanie Schur.
    Gould, a Harvard University professor, joined the faculty in 1967 as a =
    professor of geology. He advanced to associate professor in 1971 and to =
    professor in 1973.
    Gould was a best-selling author who was enamored of the mysteries of =
    evolution. He was known for his engaging, often witty style evident in =
    his collections of essays, which included "Ever Since Darwin", "The =
    Panda's Thumb", and "The Mismeasure of Man," a study of intelligence =
    testing and winner of the National Book Critics Award in 1982.
    Much of Gould's work focused on the land snails of the West Indies, =
    which he occasionally used to support a point in his articles for =
    general readers.
    One of America's best-known scientists, Gould wrote books that sought to =
    make complex debates about geology, paleontology and evolutionary =
    biology accessible to the public.
    He analyzed evolutionary theory - criticizing elements of it at points - =
    with comparisons to a range of disciplines, including popular culture =
    and sports.
    One of his most-championed causes was the idea of "punctuated =
    equilibria" in which he emphasized that evolution consisted of =
    relatively rapid spurts of species evolution rather than gradual, =
    continuous transformations.
    He also emphasized the importance of statistics in studying evolutionary =
    variation, comparing the demise of the .400 hitter in baseball to the =
    process by which evolutionary "outliers" disappeared.
    Gould received his bachelor's degree from Antioch College in 1963 and =
    enrolled in Columbia University. For his doctoral dissertation, Gould =
    investigated fossil land snails of Bermuda. Gould also did work toward =
    his doctorate at the American Museum of Natural History.
    In one of his essays about evolution, "Darwin's Middle Road," which he =
    wrote for his monthly column in Natural History magazine, Gould once =
    said, "If genius has any common denominator, I would propose breadth of =
    interest and the ability to construct fruitful analogies between =
    Gould was also the recipient of several other awards including the =
    National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism for his column in =
    Natural History in 1980 and the American Book Award in science for =
    "Panda's Thumb" in 1981.
    In 1975, Gould received the Schuchert Award, given each year by the =
    Paleontological Society for excellence in research to a paleontologist =
    under 40.

    Jim Hofmann
    Philosophy Department and Liberal Studies Program
    California State University Fullerton

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon May 20 2002 - 17:24:59 EDT