Category Archives: notable people

R.J. “Sam” Berry, 1934-2018

by Greg Mayer Robert James ‘Sam’ Berry, Emeritus Professor of Genetics in the Genetics, Evolution and Environment Department at University College London, died on March 29 of this year, following a stroke the previous summer. For decades, Berry had been a major figure in population and ecological genetics.  Announcing his death on the UCL website, […]

David M. Raup, 1933-2015

by Greg Mayer David Raup, one of the leading figures in the return of paleontology to the “high table” of evolutionary biology in the late 20th century, died this past Thursday, July 9, at the age of 82. Raup attended the University of Chicago as an undergraduate, got his doctorate at Harvard, and was associated […]

RIP Christopher Lee

by Grania Spingies Christopher Lee has passed away at the very respectable age of 93, and what a life it’s been. In recent years his portrayal of Saruman the White in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy made him a household name to a new generation, but of course he was also a veteran […]

Evolution 2014: Daniel Matute, Dobzhansky Prize winner

by Greg Mayer At the end of last month I attended the Evolution 2014 meetings in Raleigh, North Carolina. Jerry already posted one note about the meetings from Mohamed Noor’s tw**t about the “banana creationist” who protested outside the meeting, and I’ll have a few more posts to add. A good place to start is […]

Peter O’Toole, 1932-2013

by Greg Mayer The great Irish/English actor Peter O’Toole has died at the age of 81 in London. He was nominated eight times for the Academy Award for Best Actor from 1962 to 2006, but never won it; he had the most nominations ever of a non-winner. His most famous role was as T.E. Lawrence […]

The anniversary

All Americans, and many others, know that today is the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas in 1963. He was 45 years old. If you were alive then, and in America, you’ll remember the initial confusion after he had been shot, for it was a considerable time between the shots in […]

Remembrances of Ken Miyata

by Greg Mayer Jerry and I have written a number of times here at WEIT about our late friend and colleague Ken Miyata, a naturalist, scientist, photographer, writer, and fisherman of great talent who named Jerry’s frog, Atelopus coynei, and tragically died in 1983. Jon Losos at the Museum of Comparative Zoology has prepared for […]

Google doodle honors Douglas Adams

I have to confess that I’ve never read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I really want to, but I’m terribly pressed for time and the only copy in the University of Chicago Library is the last volume—and it’s far away in the law library, of all places. But I’ve watched Douglas Adams’s wonderful talks […]

Farish A. Jenkins, Jr., 1940-2012

by Greg Mayer Farish A. Jenkins, Jr., Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and Alexander Agassiz Professor in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, died on November 11, 2012. Farish made major contributions to vertebrate paleontology, functional morphology, and evolutionary biology. He had been ill with cancer for some time, but had continued to work […]

50 years on: Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”

by Matthew Cobb Over at The Guardian, Leo Hickman reminds us that 50 years ago today, Rachel Carson’s seminal book “Silent Spring” was published, with an amazing first print run of 150,000 copies.  Carson’s dramatic ecological warning of the effects of insecticides on bird populations played an important part in bringing the problems of population, […]