1-12 of 12 results  for:

Clear all

Article

Castiglioni, Luigi (03 October 1757–22 April 1832), naturalist, author, and politician, was born in Milan, Italy, the son of Count Ottavio Castiglioni and Teresa Verri, both of distinguished families. In childhood, after the death of his father, Castiglioni and his older brother, Alfonso, were adopted by their mother’s brother, Pietro Verri, whose political ideas and writings placed him and his brother, Alessandro, among the central figures of the Italian Enlightenment. Although Verri provided his nephews with material comfort and intellectual guidance, their relationship was sometimes contentious....

Image

Cadwallader Colden. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B04876).

Article

Colden, Cadwallader (07 February 1689–20 September 1776), physician, natural scientist, and lieutenant governor of New York, was born of Scottish parents in Ireland, where his mother (name unknown) was visiting. His father was the Reverend Alexander Colden of Duns, Scotland. Colden graduated in 1705 from the University of Edinburgh. He then studied medicine in London but, lacking the money to establish a medical practice in Great Britain, migrated to Philadelphia in 1710. Welcomed by his mother’s sister Elizabeth Hill, Colden established himself as a merchant and physician. He returned to Scotland briefly in 1715, where in November of that year he married Alice Chrystie of Kelso, Scotland. After their marriage they returned to Philadelphia; the couple had eleven children. During a 1717 visit to New York, Colden was persuaded by Governor ...

Article

Commoner, Barry (28 May 1917–30 September 2012), scientist-activist, biologist, and environmentalist, was born Barry Commoner in Brooklyn, New York, to Isaac (Isador) and Gussie Commoner, Russian immigrants. His uncle, the Slavonic scholar Avrahm Yarmolinsky, recommended the family adopt a more anglicized spelling of their last name. Commoner attended Brooklyn’s James Madison High School, where he discovered his passion for biology. Assisted by his wife, the poet ...

Article

Gabrielson, Ira Noel (27 September 1889–07 September 1977), wildlife biologist and first director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was born in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, the son of Frank August Gabrielson, a partner in a hardware store and later a farmer, and Ida Jansen. During a boyhood spent hunting, fishing, and exploring the countryside, Gabrielson developed a love of nature, photographed and studied birds, and became particularly interested in waterfowl. He graduated from Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa, with a B.A. in biology in 1912 and spent the next three years teaching high school biology in Marshalltown, Iowa. Just as he was about to enter the University of Iowa on a graduate fellowship, he was offered and accepted a position he had coveted with the Bureau of Biological Survey....

Article

Mather, Kirtley Fletcher (13 February 1888–07 May 1978), scientist and liberal activist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of William Green Mather, a railroad ticket agent, and Julia Sabrina King. Neither parent attended college, but they encouraged Kirtley’s interest in science and appreciated his chance, in high school, to take a course in earth science that required frequent field trips. Raised a liberal Baptist, Mather saw no conflict between biblical revelation and the concept of human evolution....

Article

Nelson, Edward William (08 May 1855–19 May 1934), naturalist and government official, was born in Amoskeag, New Hampshire, the son of William Nelson, a butcher, and Nancy Martha Wells. Nelson’s father enlisted in the Union army and was killed near the end of the Civil War. Nelson lived with his maternal grandparents in upstate New York while his mother served as an army nurse in Baltimore. For several years the Nelson brothers worked on their grandfather’s farm while Edward began learning something of the natural history of the area. Following the war, Nelson’s mother became a dressmaker in Chicago. Her sons attended the local public schools, and Edward began collecting bird and insect specimens. His mother lost all of her possessions in the Chicago Fire of April 1871, but she found temporary housing and gradually rebuilt her business....

Article

Pauling, Linus Carl (28 February 1901–19 August 1994), biochemist, physical chemist, and political activist, was born in Portland, Oregon, the son of Herman Henry William Pauling, a druggist, and Lucy Isabelle Darling. Fascination with his father’s pharmacy sparked an early interest in chemistry, although Pauling himself attributed his decision to enter a career in science to observing a boyhood friend’s experiments with a chemistry set and to his fascination with scientists portrayed in novels. His father’s early death forced the family to survive by running a boarding house. From about age thirteen Pauling took various jobs, from delivery boy to movie projectionist, to help his family, while conducting chemistry experiments in a makeshift basement laboratory at home. He entered Oregon State Agricultural College (later Oregon State University) at age sixteen, without completing high school, to major in chemical engineering. There he met his future wife, Ava Helen Miller, while he was teaching undergraduate chemistry though still a student. In 1922 he graduated summa cum laude and then entered graduate school at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Pauling and Miller married in 1923; they had four children....

Article

Poindexter, Hildrus Augustus (10 May 1901–20 April 1987), physician, microbiologist, and public health specialist, was born on a farm near Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Fred Poindexter and Luvenia Gilberta Clarke, tenant farmers. After attending the normal (teacher training) department of Swift Memorial College, a Presbyterian school for blacks in Rogersville, Tennessee (1916–1920), he entered Lincoln University (Pa.) and graduated with an A.B. cum laude in 1924. Also in 1924 he married Ruth Viola Grier, with whom he would have one child, a daughter. He attended Dartmouth Medical School for two years before earning an M.D. at Harvard University in 1929, an A.M. in bacteriology at Columbia University in 1930, a Ph.D. in bacteriology and parasitology at Columbia in 1932, and an M.P.H. from Columbia in 1937....

Image

Charles D. Walcott. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100094).

Article

Walcott, Charles Doolittle (31 March 1850–09 February 1927), paleontologist, geologist, and administrator, was born in New York Mills, New York, the son of Charles Doolittle Walcott and Mary Lane. As a young schoolboy, Walcott became interested in collecting the local fossils near Utica, New York, and in his early teens he spent several summers at the resort area of Trenton Falls, New York, renowned for its fossils. After graduating from Utica Academy in 1868, he clerked in a hardware store for a year. In 1871, dissatisfied with the business world, Walcott moved to the farm of William Rust in the Trenton Falls area. Walcott assisted with the farm chores, and he and Rust collected fossils for sale; in 1873 the collection was sold to ...

Article

Wald, George (18 November 1906–12 April 1997), biologist, was born on the Lower East Side of New York City to Isaac Wald, a Polish immigrant who worked as a tailor in a garment factory, and his wife, Ernestine Rosenmann Wald, originally from Bavaria. Raised in a poor Jewish household in Brooklyn, young George was encouraged by both parents to excel in school. He exhibited an early interest in science and developed a reputation in his working-class neighborhood for mechanical aptitude. In one notable instance Wald, not yet thirteen, rigged up a crystal radio so that he and his friends could listen to the 1919 World Series. During his years at the Brooklyn Manual Training High School, he improved upon an innate talent for building mechanical devices; he later noted that the skills he learned there subsequently helped him to build specialized equipment for his lab work. For recreation, Wald organized an amateur vaudeville ensemble of fellow students that performed stunts and musical comedy acts at Jewish community centers. Wald had intended to become an electrical engineer, but his success onstage suggested to him the possibility of becoming a lawyer, and following graduation in 1923 he enrolled as a prelaw student at New York University's Washington Square College, his tuition paid by family savings. He also supported himself during his college years by working summers as a crewman aboard a passenger ship sailing between New York and Argentina....