Anyone who has visited Monticello knows Thomas Jefferson was keen on collecting objects of scientific interest. But what were Jefferson’s scientific ideas and how did they affect his political and religious views?Find out Thursday, October 10 at the American Philosophical Society when historian Keith Thomson talks about his latest research and latest book, Jefferson’s Shadow: The Story of His Science. The event goes from 5:30 to 7:30 and includes a book signing. Get location and other details and RSVP here.
His previous book explored the life of Charles Darwin. He is a fascinating person and I expect this lecture to be well worth the trip to Center City.
Here’s what the American Philosophical Society says about the event:
With a storyteller’s gift, Thomson shows us a new side of Jefferson. He answers an intriguing series of questions—How was Jefferson’s view of the sciences reflected in his political philosophy and his vision of America’s future? How did science interact with his religion? Did he make any original contributions to scientific knowledge? — and illuminates the particulars of Jefferson’s scientific endeavors. Thomson discusses Jefferson’s theories that have withstood the test of time, his interest in the practical applications of science to societal problems, his leadership in the use of scientific methods in agriculture, and his contributions toward launching at least four sciences in America: geography, paleontology, climatology, and scientific archaeology. A set of delightful illustrations, including some of Jefferson’s own sketches and inventions, completes this impressively researched book.Keith Thomson is executive officer at the American Philosophical Society and professor emeritus of natural history at the University of Oxford.