Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Scientia Pro Publica #4 - In Memory of Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould is my homeboy. True story, he grew up in my present hometown of Bayside, NY. I am honored to be included in a blog carnival in his memory: Scientia Pro Publica #4.

I never met SJG, but I did bump into him once. Literally! When I was a junior in college, I visited MCZ at Harvard on my way to the Ernst Mayr Library. (Back in olden days, we didn't have access to "online" articles. If you wanted an article, you had to go to the library and photocopy it from a bound volume.) As I was climbing the stairs to the library, a door swung open and SJG came barreling out, and collided with me. He hardly hesitated save to glance back and scowl at me. Or maybe it was a look of surprise. Hard to say since it happened so fast. I haven't been so thrilled to see a celebrity since the time I sat next to Bobby Orr at a hockey game.


  1. "If you wanted an article, you had to go to the library and photocopy it from a bound volume."
    ... you had photo copiers!?!? Back in the real olden days we had to take notes by hand. In pencil, so we wouldn't get ink on the original.

  2. Me encantó tu blog es muy bonito e interesante. Y sus post muy buenos gracias

  3. Ahahaha...sorry I forgot there once was a time when photocopiers didn't exist.

    Maktub, thanks for your kind words my friend!

  4. I did meet Gould once, many years ago. It was after a talk he gave at the University of California at San Diego. I don't remember what it was about, or what we talked about (me clinical depression I'm afraid). I do remember him as a bit tired, courteous, and interested in what I had to say and in answering my questions.

    He liked people and in communicating with them. Especially when it came to subjects he was fond of.