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Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould, a famed evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, historian, prolific author and past president of AAAS died Monday, May 20, 2002. He was 60.
One of America's best known and highly esteemed scientists, Gould wrote books that sought to make complex debates about geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology accessible to the public. Gould often used his personal passions, from baseball to opera, to illustrate evolutionary concepts in his popular writing.
"AAAS is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Stephen Jay Gould. His passing is a great loss to the scientific community. Dr. Gould was widely respected for his rigorous intellect, his multiple writings in both the scholarly literature and the popular press, and his activism in the scientific community. AAAS mourns the loss of a long-time friend and supporter. He will be missed," says Dr. Alan I. Leshner, AAAS Chief Executive Officer.
Stephen Jay Gould was born on September 10, 1941, in New York City. He graduated from Antioch College and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1967. Upon graduation, he was hired by Harvard University as a Professor of Geology and Zoology. He is perhaps best known in scientific circles for the theory of "punctuated equilibrium," proposed by Gould and fellow researcher Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural History in 1972. (The theory suggested that species experience long periods of slow and gradual evolution that may be interrupted by the abrupt emergence of new evolutionary forms.)
Gould's professional career flourished, and scientific, academic and literary organizations recognized his vast and varied accomplishments. He has been awarded over 40 honorary degrees and has written extensively, his works ranging from the scholarly Ontogeny and Phylogeny to the popular The Mismeasure of Man and Questioning the Millennium. Gould earned 14 literary awards including the American Book Award in science for Panda's Thumb in 1981. His monthly column "This View of Life" in Natural History was the longest running series of contemporary scientific essays and won the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism in 1980. His final scholarly book was The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, published this spring.