Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz FRS FRSE (1807-1873) was a great scientist in his era, was also a Swiss-born biologist, geologist, paleontologist, systematist, and famous teacher. He was also known as Earth’s natural history’s Scholar. Louis Agassiz was also a rival of Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Time and Place of birth
Louis Agassiz was born in the village of Motier, France on 28 May 1807.
In Agassiz’s childhood, he was being educated at home, and then in the year 1818, he went to secondary school in Bienne, for four years. For higher studies, Agassiz went to the Universities of Switzerland and Germany and studied Physics. In the year 1830, he received his degree in medicine from the University of Erlangen. Agassiz also started to study comparative anatomy by Cuvier, a very famous naturalist in Europe.
After Agassiz started working as a professor at Lyceum of Neuchatel in Switzerland for almost thirteen years after the death of Cuvier and worked on various projects like paleontologist, glaciology, and systematist.
In the year 1836, Louis Agassiz started working on the study of Glaciers. Agassiz also published his ideas in the book he published in the year 1840. While in the year 1846 Agassiz was on a lecture tour to the United States he had become very popular and was recognized by a lot of people. In the year 1848 started a professorship at Harvard University as well.
Agassiz’s dream of opening a great museum came true in the year 1859, he had started organizing and funding the museum for quite a while and finally, the doors of the Museum of Comparative Zoology opened in the year 1860, this was also the first scientific building in North America.
In the year 1863 Agassiz became a founding member as well and in 1863 became a regent at the Smithsonian Institution.
Education and Career
Agassiz’s education was first held in his own house and later he joined the secondary school and for his graduation went to the Universities of Switzerland and Germany. Agassiz also studied medicine and doctorate and got his degrees in both subjects. But extended his studies into studying natural history.
While in his career he worked on the Research of fossil fish from 1833 to 1843 which was a four-volume work. It was a book which gave information about the above 1,700 fossil fishes. Agassiz also published a catalog in the years 1842-46 about various names of genus and subgenus in zoology named “Nomenclator of Zoology”.
Contribution in Science
While doing the study of Glaciers Agassiz found some marked glaciers left on Earth like glacial erratic rocks which were carried to a long-distance, large valleys, some rocks with scratches and smoothing on it, some mound with remains called moraines. Some scientists examined and explained about these features of icebergs and following the lead Agassiz found that Earth was once held by the Ice Age.
- Louis Agassiz earned his degree in Doctor of Philosophy in the year 1829, and after one year earned his degree in Doctor of Medicine.
- Agassiz worked as a professor of zoology and geology at the University of Harvard, because of all his great works.
- As Louis Agassiz was becoming popular as one of the most famous scientists in the world, Henry Longfellow wrote about him in “The fiftieth birthday of Agassiz”.
Louis Agassiz died on 14 December in the year 1873, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Mount Auburn Cemetery he was buried on the Bellwort path.
- In the year 1868, A journey in Brazil
- In the year 1859, an Essay on classification
- In the year 1866, Geological sketches
- In the year 1848, Principles of Zoology
- In the year 1867, Glacial phenomena in Maine
Awards and Medals
- Louis Agassiz received the Wollaston Medal in the year 1836.
- Louis Agassiz received the Copley Medal in 1861.
Facts are stupid until brought into connection with some general law.
The study of nature is intercourse with the highest mind. You should never trifle with nature.
Louis Agassiz had contributed a lot to science and is now being remembered for his theories on glaciers, Ice Age. In Agassiz honor was named The Cambridge elementary school at Harvard University. And the neighborhood near that school started to be known as “Agassiz”.
What was Louis Agassiz’s contribution to paleontology?
Louis Agassiz’s contribution to Paleontology was his theories on the landmark work about glacier activity and the extinct fossil fishes.
When was Louis Agassiz born?
Louis Agassiz was born on 28 May 1807 in a village in France.
How did Louis Agassiz discover the ice age?
Louis Agassiz discovered the ice age when he concluded that Earth has been once subject to an Ice Age.
When did Louis Agassiz die?
Louis Agassiz died on 14 December 1873 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Louis Agassiz was a man who had an interest in Science but contributed comparatively less as he was a Polygenist who believed humans are created in different origins and that’s the reason he was called a Racist. Nonetheless, he had contributed to science and discovered about the Ice Age and Glaciers which cannot be ignored, because he was a son of a priest it was his belief but that doesn’t mean that he was doing racism.
Louis Agassiz was a man who contributed his life to discovering theories and answers to mankind.
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