Louis Agassiz, one of America’s most prodigious scientists, was a veritable Gulliver giant among tiny Lilliputians. He established a school of natural history on Penikese Island, in Buzzards Bay in 1873, a precursor to the Marine Biological Laboratory. Sadly, this founder of Harvard’s world-famous Louis Agassiz Museum of Comparative Zoology might have his name effaced from the street in Woods Hole that for a century quietly, harmlessly, bore his name.

In our era of political correctness this once-revered scientist is accused of BadThink, positing racial views that are no longer acceptable but in fact were not uncommon a century and a half ago.

But why stop with erasing the memory of Agassiz? Why, for example, should slave-owning presidents have their visages proudly carved into Mount Rushmore? Surely these could by the politically “woken” be quietly chipped away. And why should our first president be honored on our currency? Sorry, George.

Frank Messmann

King Street

Falmouth

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(1) comment

Gadfly

Indeed.


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