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Spencer Baird of the Smithsonian

Author: Edward F Rivinus; E M Youssef
Publisher: Washington : Smithsonian Institution Press, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In the course of a fascinating life at the center of nineteenth-century science, Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887) was the second secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the first U.S. commissioner of fish and fisheries (and, in that role, the initiator of what grew into the now-world-famous Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts), supervisor of the Bureau of American Ethnology, and the first
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Rivinus, Edward F.
Spencer Baird of the Smithsonian.
Washington : Smithsonian Institution Press, c1992
(OCoLC)645829146
Named Person: Spencer Fullerton Baird; Spencer Fullerton Baird; Spencer Fullerton Baird
Material Type: Biography, Government publication, National government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Edward F Rivinus; E M Youssef
ISBN: 1560981555 9781560981558
OCLC Number: 25316481
Description: x, 228 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. The Smithson Bequest --
2. The World of Spencer Baird --
3. The Early Baird: 1823-1846 --
4. Years of Change: 1846-1850 --
5. Spencer and Mary and Lucy --
6. Assistant Secretary: 1850-1865 --
7. The Baird-Henry Relationship --
8. A Collector of Collectors --
9. Spencer Baird and Louis Agassiz: A Prickly Association --
10. A Dedication to the Demonstrable --
11. Assistant Secretary: 1865-1878 --
12. Secretary: 1878-1887 --
13. United States Fish Commissioner --
14. Friends and Associates --
15. The Manner of the Man --
16. Ave Atque Vale --
17. The Baird Heritage --
Appendix: Awards, Honors, Membership Certificates, and Diplomas of Spencer Fullerton Baird.
Responsibility: E.F. Rivinus and E.M. Youssef.
More information:

Abstract:

In the course of a fascinating life at the center of nineteenth-century science, Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887) was the second secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the first U.S. commissioner of fish and fisheries (and, in that role, the initiator of what grew into the now-world-famous Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts), supervisor of the Bureau of American Ethnology, and the first director of the United States National Museum, which he personally persuaded Congress to create.

Recounting the life and achievements of a great naturalist, educator, and builder of institutions, this biography reveals that Baird, though rarely a leader of expeditions himself, actively charted much of the direction and content of nineteenth-century science and museums. Rivinus and Youssef explore Baird's character and motivations, placing the details of his professional and personal life against the larger scale of politics, science, and culture and the founding of the Smithsonian Institution. They detail Baird's relationships with Audubon, Joseph Henry, and Louis Agassiz; his development of a scientific method now known as the "Bairdian School"; his skill at placing young naturalists on all of the major government-sponsored exploring expeditions into the western territories; his prodigious correspondence; and his considerable skill at influencing the leading politicians of his day (Baird's testimony proved crucial to the U.S. purchase of Alaska).

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