Gould, Stephen Jay

Gould, Stephen Jay
born Sept. 10, 1941, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died May 20, 2002, New York, N.Y.

U.S. paleontologist and evolutionary biologist.

He received a Ph.D. in paleontology from Columbia University and joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1967. With Niles Eldredge (b. 1943), he developed the controversial theory of punctuated equilibrium (1972), a revision of Darwinism that proposed that the evolutionary creation of new species occurs in rapid bursts over periods as short as thousands of years, which are followed by long periods of stability. He was widely known as a popularizing writer on biological and evolutionary topics, especially in Natural History magazine; his numerous books include The Panda's Thumb (1980), The Mismeasure of Man (1981), and The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002).

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▪ 2003

      American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and writer (b. Sept. 10, 1941, New York, N.Y.—d. May 20, 2002, New York, N.Y.), was the author of over a dozen books in addition to 300 consecutive monthly “This View of Life” essays in Natural History magazine (1974–2001), in which he made scientific discussion accessible and entertaining to the common reader without diluting its content. He was best known for a theory of evolution he and his colleague Niles Eldredge developed in 1972, known as punctuated equilibrium, that contradicted conventional thinking on the subject. Whereas in the theories of Charles Darwin evolution was a slow, steady process, Gould and Eldredge proposed that change came to species relatively rapidly between long periods of constancy. Gould earned a bachelor's degree in geology at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1963 and a doctorate in paleontology at Columbia University, New York City, in 1967. In the latter year he joined the faculty of Harvard University, where he would spend the rest of his career. He became a full professor in 1973. Among Gould's diverse works were an exploration of the relationship between evolution and the development of individual organisms, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (1977); a discussion of intelligence testing and a refutation of claims for the intellectual superiority of some races, The Mismeasure of Man (1981), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1982; and what was considered his magnum opus, the 1,433-page summary of his life's work, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002). His volumes of collected Natural History essays included Ever Since Darwin (1977), The Panda's Thumb (1980), for which he received the National Book Award in 1981, Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes (1983), and I Have Landed: The End of a Beginning in Natural History (2002), which was published the day after his death. Gould was the recipient of numerous honours: he received a MacArthur fellowship in 1981, the first year that grant was awarded; he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1983 and the National Academy of Sciences in 1989; and he served as president of such organizations as the Paleontological Society (1985–86), the Society for the Study of Evolution (1990–91), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999–2000).

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▪ American paleontologist
born September 10, 1941, New York, New York, U.S.
died May 20, 2002, New York
 American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and science writer.

      Gould graduated from Antioch College in 1963 and received a Ph.D. in paleontology at Columbia University in 1967. He joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1967, becoming a full professor there in 1973. Gould's own technical research focused on the evolution and speciation of West Indian land snails. With Niles Eldredge, he developed in 1972 the theory of punctuated equilibrium, a revision of Darwinian theory proposing that the creation of new species through evolutionary change occurs not at slow, constant rates over millions of years but rather in rapid bursts over periods as short as thousands of years, which are then followed by long periods of stability during which organisms undergo little further change. Gould's theory, as well as much of his later work, often drew criticism from other scientists.

      Apart from his technical research, Gould became widely known as a writer, polemicist, and popularizer of evolutionary theory. In his books Ontogeny and Phylogeny (1977), The Mismeasure of Man (1981), Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle (1987), and Wonderful Life (1989), he traced the course and significance of various controversies in the history of evolutionary biology, intelligence testing, geology, and paleontology. From 1974 Gould regularly contributed essays to the periodical Natural History, and these were collected in several volumes, including Ever Since Darwin (1977), The Panda's Thumb (1980), and Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes (1983). His science writing is characterized by a graceful literary style and the ability to treat complex concepts with absolute clarity.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • GOULD, STEPHEN JAY — (1941–2002), U.S. paleontologist and author. Born in New York City, Gould was educated at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio (A.B., 1963), and Columbia University (Ph.D., 1967). After a year of teaching geology at Antioch, Gould accepted an… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Gould,Stephen Jay — Gould, Stephen Jay. Born 1941. American evolutionary biologist, writer, and historian of science. He developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium with Niles Eldredge (born 1943) in 1972. * * * …   Universalium

  • Gould , Stephen Jay — (1941–) American biologist The grandson of a Hungarian immigrant and the son of a court stenographer, Gould is reported to have developed his interest in biology as a five year old when he first saw Tyrannosaurus rexat the American Museum of… …   Scientists

  • Gould, Stephen Jay — (10 sep. 1941, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.–20 may. 2002, Nueva York, N.Y.). Paleontólogo y biólogo evolucionista estadounidense. Obtuvo un Ph.D. en paleontología de la Universidad Columbia e ingresó a la facultad de la Universidad Harvard en 1967.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Stephen Jay Gould — S. J. Gould Stephen Jay Gould (* 10. September 1941 in New York; † 20. Mai 2002 ebenda) war ein US amerikanischer Paläontologe, Geologe und Evolutionsforscher …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Stephen Jay Gould — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gould. Stephen Jay Gould Naissance 10  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Stephen Jay Gould — ; wayback [http://web.archive.org/web/20070101113544/http://www.prospect.org/print/V13/17/blume h archive copy] ] John Maynard Smith, an eminent British evolutionary biologist, was among Gould s strongest critics. Maynard Smith thought that Gould …   Wikipedia

  • Stephen Jay Gould — noun United States paleontologist and popularizer of science (1941 2002) • Syn: ↑Gould • Instance Hypernyms: ↑paleontologist, ↑palaeontologist, ↑fossilist * * * Stephen Jay Gould [St …   Useful english dictionary

  • Stephen Jay Gould — Paleontólogo y prominente divulgador científico norteamericano (Nueva York, 10 de septiembre de 1941 20 de mayo de 2002). En 1972 publicó junto a Niles Elredge Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism , donde exponen la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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