|It is a compelling question how one of the most admired naturalists of his day, who loved his work and was dedicated to education, could also have argued for one of the most disturbingly racist explanations of the variation in human forms: the theory of polygenesis. |
The essays Page of the Mirror of Race has published several pieces on the influence of Louis Agassiz.
"Louis Agassiz: Full Face and Profile," by Molly Rogers, presents a biographical approach to the photographs of slaves that Agassiz commissioned, considering the images in relation to the personal and professional attitudes of the naturalist who commissioned them.
The series of essays by Helena Machado, Flavio Gomes, and John Moneiro, examines the meaning of an expedition to Brazil that Agassiz undertook in 1865-66, in part to gather evidence for his theory of polygenesis.
In the future, we hope to publish more essays on science and race, both from a historical perspective and on the understanding in modern science of what race is -- and is not.