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A symposium on the evolutionary synthesis


Fallout from the Patterson affair
Ernst Mayr Scientist
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Well [Theodosius] Dobzhansky was furious, and he first said he was going to go right back to New York. And finally his friends, including John A Moore, managed that he stayed and attended the whole meeting, but he said he would have nothing to do with that volume. So his name was taken off and my name was substituted, so now the volume is Jepson, Simpson, Mayr, and it would have been – without the Patterson affair – it would have been Jepson, Simpson, Dobzhansky.

The late German-American biologist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) was a leading light in the field of evolutionary biology, gaining a PhD at the age of 21. He was also a tropical explorer and ornithologist who undertook an expedition to New Guinea and collected several thousand bird skins. In 1931 he accepted a curatorial position at the American Museum of Natural History. During his time at the museum, aged 37, he published his seminal work 'Systematics and Origin of the Species' which integrated the theories of Darwin and Mendel and is considered one of his greatest works.

Listeners: Walter J. Bock

Walter J. Bock is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Columbia University. He received his B.Sc. from Cornell and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. His research lies in the areas of organismal and evolutionary biology, with a special emphasis on functional and evolutionary morphology of the skeleto-muscular system, specifically the feeding apparatus of birds.

Tags: New York, Theodosius Dobzhansky, John A Moore, Glenn L Jepson, George Gaylord Simpson

Duration: 31 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 24 January 2008