Where’d Hugo Go?

Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries was once one of the most famous scientists in the world. De Vries gained worldwide attention in the first decades of the twentieth century as the guy who finally figured out how evolution worked.

Of course today we credit Darwin for this discovery, and backdate it to the publication of Origin of Species in 1859. But for many decades, into the 1930s in fact, Darwin’s theory of natural selection was considered insufficient (See Bowler, 1992). In the minds of many, De Vries’ idea completed the story of evolution.

Biology’s Bomb: Graphing “Explosive” Population Growth in Cold War Textbooks

Prior to World War II, America’s protectors thought the country’s innocence could be guarded at its gates. Citizen biologists saw the nation’s border as kind of cartographic diaphragm, not entirely reliable in individual instances, but adequate to the task of containing the pool of potential breeders. But conflict had led to contact, and contact had…

Race, Art and Evolution

These reconstructions of Java Man (Pithecanthropus), Neanderthal Man and Cro-Magnon Man were created around 1915 by Columbia University physical anthropologist J. H. McGregor for the American Museum of Natural History. They were designed not just to impress visitors with the wonders of science, but also to promote the eugenic theories of the museum’s director, Henry…