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 =
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 =
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 =
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, =
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 =
Philosophy Department and Liberal Studies Program
California State University Fullerton
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