Stephen Jay Gould
- Category : Paleontologist
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 3
American paleontologist and university professor of geology at Harvard, the author of hundreds of science papers, book reviews and magazine articles. His work includes two collections of essays, "Ever Since Darwin," 1977, "The Panda’s Thumb," 1980 and "The Mismeasure of Man," a study of intelligence testing which won the National Book Critics Award. Gould rocked the science world with his revolutionary ideas about evolution.
Gould’s father, who worked as a court stenographer in the Queens County Supreme Court, was a Marxist and amateur naturalist. Young Gould’s first ambition was to become a garbage collector, but at age five he accompanied his father to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan where he saw a reconstruction of a dinosaur. As they left the Museum, he announced he wanted to be a paleontologist. (Presumably he was precocious, this not being a word in the vocabulary of most five-year-olds.)
After high school, Gould spent the summer at the University of Colorado, then enrolled in Antioch College where he received his B.A. degree in 1963. He then enrolled in Columbia University for his doctoral dissertation, choosing to investigate fossil land snails of Bermuda. In 1966, he returned to Antioch to teach geology, then became assistant professor of geology at Harvard the following year, and advanced to associate professor in 1971. He was a full professor by 1973, and became curator of invertebrate paleontology at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Various collaborative efforts gained him wider attention, and made him controversial, since his views didn’t always coincide with mainstream. He repeatedly called attention to the effects of social climate on scientific theory.
In 1975, he won the Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society for excellence in research, and in 1981, won a prize fellows award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1982 for "The Mismeasure of Man," and received the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism in 1980 for his column in "Natural History." In 1981, he received the American Book Award in science for "The Panda’s Thumb."
He married Deborah Ann Lee, an artist on 10/03/1965 and they have two sons, Jesse and Ethan. He died of cancer at his New York City home on 5/17/2002.