Paleontologist. Evolutionary Biologist. Born the son of Leonard and Eleanor Gould in Queens, New York. He attended Jamaica High school and Antioch College in Ohio before being accepted into the graduate program at Columbia University in 1963. In 1967, he took an Assistant Professorship at Harvard University. In 1971, he became an Associate Professor, and in 1973, a Professor of Geology and Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. Gould developed, with Niles Eldredge, their theory of punctuated equilibrium, which holds evolutionary change occurs relatively rapidly to comparatively longer periods of evolutionary stability to explain an oddity of the fossil record: apparent bursts of speciation in between long periods of little or no change. In 1974, he began writing the "This View of Life" column in Natural History Magazine opening his field to a wider audience. His monograph ‘Ontogeny and Phylogeny' published in 1977 examined recapitulation – the view that individual development is a rerun of evolutionary history. His collection of essays, ‘The Panda's Thumb' was published in1980 and won the Notable Book Citation from the American Library Association, and the American Book Award in Science. It was followed by ‘The Mismeasure of Man' in 1981. In July 1982 Gould was diagnosed with a deadly form of abdominal cancer, experimenting on his chances of recovery, Gould made a full recovery and published "The Median Isn't the Message," for Discover Magazine about his two year battle. He served as president of the Paleontological Society from 1985 to 1986 and for the Society for the Study of Evolution from 1990 to 1991. In 1989 Gould was elected into the body of the National Academy of Sciences. From 1996 to 2002 Gould was Vincent Astor Visiting Research Professor of Biology at New York University. His popular books in the field included ‘Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes' in 1983; ‘The Flamingo's Smile' in 1985; ‘Wonderful Life' in 1989; and ‘Bully for Brontosaurus' in 1991. In 1997, he had a guest role as himself in the ‘Lisa the Skeptic' episode of ‘The Simpsons.' Gould was also featured in PBS's ‘Evolution' series, ‘Crossfire,' ‘The Today Show,' and was on the Board of Advisors to television show, ‘3-2-1 Contact.' Gould died in 2002 from a form of lung cancer, unrelated to the abdominal cancer, which he had beaten twenty years earlier. Over his career, he wrote an unprecedented 300 consecutive monthly columns for Natural History magazine, twenty best-selling books, and nearly one thousand scientific papers. Asteroid 8373 is named in his honor.
Bio by: Iola