The Falmouth Select Board will hold a public hearing on a petition to change the name of Agassiz Road to Jewel Cobb Road on Monday, November 9, at 7:30 PM.
“It was a petition started by the folks who live on that road, Agassiz Road, to look at changing the name, given there is a history of [Professor Louis Agassiz] being someone who promoted eugenics and the superiority of one race,” select board chairwoman Megan E. English Braga said.
In addition to founding the Anderson Summer School of Natural History on Penikese Island, professor Agassiz attempted to prove polygenism, the theory that human races came from different origins. The petition, organized by Ruth Gainer of High Street and Paula Pace of Agassiz Road, both of Woods Hole, requests the road’s name be changed to honor Dr. Jewel Cobb, a member of the National Academy of Medicine who received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Sciences in 1993.
As a public hearing, residents will be able to comment via Zoom video, over the phone or via the Zoom chat function. The select board will also accept comments via email at email@example.com.
“We want to accommodate the fact that some people are not comfortable using Zoom” Ms. English Braga said. “We want to make sure people are able to share their thoughts and have their comments read into the record.”
Noting the petition has a lot of support behind it, she said similar discussions can be heard countrywide, with numerous communities considering if historical figures honored with monuments and landmarks reflect today’s values.