Radio Times

Academy of Natural Sciences turns 200

April 10, 2012


The Academy's 200th anniversary exhibit (photo courtesy The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University)

Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences is celebrating its 200th birthday this year.  The renowned Academy is the oldest natural history museum in the Western Hemisphere. Its renowned collection of 18 million plants and animals includes dinosaur fossils collected by Thomas Jefferson, bird specimens and drawings from John James Audubon, herbs brought back by a Lewis and Clark expedition, and fish caught by Ernest Hemingway. Today the Academy, which recently merged with Drexel University, is still at the forefront of scientific research and education. In fact, one of our guests, TED DAESCHLER, a paleontologist at the Academy, was in the Canadian Arctic when he and colleagues unearthed a 375-year-old fossil, Tiktaalik, that turned out to be an evolutionary link bridging the gap between fish and land animals.  We’ll also talk with ROBERT PECK, senior fellow at the Academy, who describes the academy’s history and its many contributions to science in his book, “A Glorious Enterprise,” co-authored with Patricia Tyson Stroud.

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