Jefferson & Science exhibit


“The Sciences…My Supreme Delight: T. Jefferson, 1809″; Kalamazoo Valley Museum, June 14-September 1

If you’re a lover of liberty and a big science dork (like, say, me), you’re probably already familiar with the Founding Fathers’ fascination with the physical sciences. Benjamin Franklin and his many practical inventions are probably the first to come to mind, but Thomas Jefferson was another who filled his free hours as an amateur natural philosopher. According to Archiving Early America, even his political enemies conceded his prowess in the realm of science (though he considered himself an amateur).

“Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering them my supreme delight,” he wrote. The exhibit in Kalamazoo features some of Jefferson’s own possessions in conjunction with other 18th and 19th century artifacts in an attempt to replicate Jefferson’s scientific collection.

If you can’t get over to the west side of the state this summer, indulge your inner science history geek with this online exhibit of Jefferson’s fossil collection from the Academy of Natural Sciences.

In other Jeffersonian news, the “Jefferson 1“, who was arrested on April after dancing at the Jefferson Memorial and charged with “interfering with an agency function,” has not yet had her day in court, but it’s expected in late June.

~LM Ruhland, SET intern@MCPP

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One thought on “Jefferson & Science exhibit

  1. It is absolutely amazing how innovative and intellectually powerful many of our founding fathers were. They designed their own homes (Mt. Vernon, Monticello, and so on), ran businesses, invented, started organizations, wrote newspapers, books, and copious letters, started and commanded a war, laid out one of the world’s best constitutions, and formed the first government of the new United States of America. Very few people today seem to have characters like they did, and it often gives me reason to wonder why.

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