WFHB
Home > News > The Custom House – Agassiz, Inc. (Extended Conversation w/Christoph Irmscher)

The Custom House – Agassiz, Inc. (Extended Conversation w/Christoph Irmscher)

Play

This week, Doug speaks with biographer Christoph Irmscher about the legacy of Louis Agassiz, one of the most influential men in the development of the practice of science in America. This extended cut includes more biographical details as well as a deeper look at Agassiz’s involvement in the so-called Emancipation Commission as epistolary adviser to one its appointed leaders, Samuel Gridley Howe, revealing that, as Irmscher puts it, you can be an abolitionist and still be racist.

Louis Agassiz, a co-discoverer of the Ice Age, is often portrayed as a racist proponent of miscegenation and a failure as a theorist of human development–as the scientist who refused to see species in the light of Darwinian evolution on religious grounds. But as our guest the biographer Christoph Irmscher shows, Louis Agassiz was one of the most influential men in the development of American Science.

Scroll To Top