Henry Fairfield Osborn

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Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sr.
BirthplaceFairfield, Connecticut
Known for geology. paleontology. eugenics
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Osborn, Henry Fairfield


Born Aug. 8, 1857, in Fair-field, Conn., died Nov. 6, 1935, in Garrison, N. Y. American paleontologist. Professor at Princeton University (1882–90) and Columbia University (1891). President of the American Museum of Natural History (from 1908).

Osborn’s principal works dealt with terrestrial vertebrate fossils, predominantly mammals, including Perissodactyla, Brontotheriidae, and Proboscidea, and with the history of the theory of evolution. Osborn developed an eclectic concept of evolution, acknowledging the direct influence of the environment on the organism (Buffon’s factor), inheritance of the results of the use (or nonuse) of organs (Lamarck’s factor), and natural selection (Darwin’s factor). He also believed that autogenetic changes could occur in genetic material.


Davitashvili, L. Sh. Istoriia evoliutsionnoi paleontologii ot Darvina do nashikh dnei. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Istoriia evoliutsionnykh uchenii v biologii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
His boss, Henry Fairfield Osborn, then director of the American Museum of Natural History, believed that the fossil remains of man's earliest ancestors would inevitably be found in Central Asia.
When Bumpus retired from the Museum in 1908, Roy soon bonded with the new director, paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, his most steadfast ally.
In his 1906 paper describing Tyrannosaurus Rex, palaeontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn suggested that the five-ton dinosaurs used their minuscule arms for "grasping during copulation".
The book's argument about extreme population growth, environmental degradation, scarcity, mass uprising, and mass mortality is quite common for its times and has been the topic of many texts of the era, like Fairfield Osborn's Our Plundered Planet in 1948, and The Limits of the Earth in 1953, Karl Sax's Standing Room Only in 1955, Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb in 1968, or George Borgstrom's Too Many in 1969.
I was disappointed to find no mention of the seminal work of George Perkins Marsh nor inclusion of the work of Fairfield Osborn. It is difficult to perceive how tree historical perspective can dismiss without reference either of these two men and their substantive contributions to contemporary ecology.
Fairfield Osborn was an American geologist who played an important role in the creation of the international movement for the conservation of nature.
Henry Fairfield Osborn of the American Museum of Natural History was one of the leading proponents of scientific racism and eugenics in the United States in the early part of the century.
And, in the same year, Fairfield Osborn, president of the New York Zoological Garden and founder of the Conservation Foundation, published Our Plundered Planet.
Fairfield Osborn, founder of the Conservation Foundation and author of the 1948 book Our Plundered Planet, enjoys generous treatment here for helping "implant an environmental consciousness in his fellow Americans" (p.
As Henry Fairfield Osborn wrote of Darwin's visit to the Galapogos Islands: "Only five weeks, but five weeks of Darwin's eyes and Darwin's powers of observation and reasoning were equivalent to a whole previous cycle of human thought."
Wright Mills, Hannah Arendt, Erich Fromm), "The Ecological Intellectuals" (Fairfield Osborn, Lewis Mumford, Rachel Carson), "Shaping New Kinds of Knowledge" (Leo Szilard, Herbert Marcuse, Margaret Mead), "The Reconceptualization of Culture" (Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin, Mary McCarthy), and "Making Politics Personal" (Saul Alinsky, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr.).
He reported this to Henry Fairfield Osborn, then a curator (and later president) of the museum, and showed Osborn one of his own mounts of a cat skeleton.

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