Tagged with 'science'

Monticello as Experiment:‘To Try All Things’

Thomas Jefferson was a firm believer that "useful knowledge" could make life more efficient and convenient, and he used Monticello as a laboratory for that theory. 

Monticello Podcasts

Jefferson and the Early Diplomatic Corps The recent controversy over release of U.S. diplomatic cables via Wikileaks got us thinking about how Jefferson, the U.S.'s first Secretary of State under the Constitution, and his successors communicated with their ambassadors and consuls abroad.

Jefferson's Instructions to Meriwether Lewis

"To Meriwether Lewis, esquire, Captain of the 1st regiment of infantry of the United States of America.

Jefferson v. Buffon

Good thing I know somebody with a subscription to American Scientist, otherwise I would never have found out that Keith Thomson (another friend of ours and former ICJS fellow) published an article in the May-June issue, "Jefferson, Buffon and the Moose" (pp. 200-202).  It's an excellent overview of the philosophical argument between Buffon and Jefferson regarding "degeneracy" of New World flora, fauna, and even people vs. those of the Old World.

Jefferson-era orrery, reconstructed

James Ferguson, 1710-1776, was a sort of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” of the middle to late 1700s. A fellow of the Royal Society, he had done important work in observing and understanding the moon’s orbit, but his true calling turned out to be explaining science to the general public. Some of his works still make good reading today. He strove for simple, elegant solutions and didn’t waste words. Perhaps he put it best in “Select Mechanical Exercises”:  “The simpler that any machine is, the better it will be allowed to be, by every man of science.”