Stephen Jay Gould, an American paleontologist, is an evolutionary theorist and a writer of popular works on natural history and the role of science in society. Obtaining his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1967, Gould joined and has remained on the staff of Harvard University. With others, he has advanced the debated concept that major evolutionary changes take place in sudden bursts. Among his award-winning books are The Panda's Thumb (1980) and The Mismeasure of Man (1981). Wonderful Life (1989) documents the 1909 discovery of the Burgess Shale fossils, how they were misinterpreted, and how a reexamination in the 1970s resulted in a new classification.
Last Updated: 9/14/09