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Grant number like: FA-51718-05

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Christoph Irmscher
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD 21250-0001)
A Cultural Biography of American Scientist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873)

I'm requesting support for a cultural biography of the American scientist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), once considered the most important American scientist but now mostly remembered for his stubborn opposition to Darwinism. Agassiz was equally famous as a paleontologist, ichthyologist, and geologist, and he pioneered the genre of popular science writing in America. At the same time, he was an unabashed racist. My biography, the first in over 40 years, will re-visit the central tenets of Agassiz's theories and discuss this cultural importance (Emerson regarded him as one of "my men"), the reasons for his unprecedented success in America, and the links between his science and his racism.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Studies

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006