Thomas Jefferson has long been a hero of mine. Besides all his other pursuits, he was a man of science. If you visit the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, America’s first natural history institution, you can see some of the bones that he collected in his role as citizen paleontologist. Here is a piece from Archiving Early America which describes Jefferson’s life as an amateur scientist. As he wrote to Dupont de Nemours, “Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering them my supreme delight.”
And here’s a blog post on Scientific American about Jefferson’s connection to citizen science:
That’s it for this week. The maples in Golden Gate Park are aflame with autumn’s colors. Roadside farm stands groan with bushels of apples and fresh pumpkins. There’s a chill in the air with flurries of snow to follow soon. Fall is here in all its pageantry.
Oops, wrong coast. Outside it’s sunny and green, and the air is delightful. No apples, however.