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Louis Agassiz
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Scientist
    (May 28, 1807-December 14, 1873)
    Born in Haut-Vully, Switzerland
    Birth name was Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz
    Geologist, zoologist and paleontologist
    Professor of natural history at the University of Neuchatel (1832-46) and Harvard (1846-73)
    Wrote 'History of the Freshwater Fishes of Central Europe' (1839-42), 'Principals of Zoology' (1848), 'Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America' (1857-62), 'Geological Sketches' (1866) and 'Essay on Classification' (1869)
    He proposed that the races were created separately, with (surprise!) whites being more advanced than blacks.
    He said of the theory of evolution, 'I trust to outlive this mania.'
    Instead, most of his students -- including his son Alexander, a significant naturalist in his own right -- became evolutionists.
    When his statue at Stanford fell during the San Francisco earthquake (1906), University President David Starr Jordan observed, 'Agassiz was great in the abstract, but not in the concrete.'
    He was considered a founder of the science of glaciology and was the first scientist to provide evidence of an ancient Ice Age.
    He was a tireless advocate for science education in the United States.
    He was a founding member of the National Academy of Sciences (1863).
    He was the best-known American scientist of the 19th century, with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writing a poem to commemorate his 50th birthday.

Credit: C. Fishel


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