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The Best Of Our Knowledge
The Best Of Our Knowledge
#1573: The Science Of James Smithson | The Best Of Our Knowledge







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The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. It is a beloved part of American culture. But its founder, a British scientist named James Smithson, never once set foot on American soil. So, who would do that? Steven Turner tried to find out. Turner is the author of the new book The Science of James Smithson – Discoveries from the Smithsonian Founder. While researching Smithon’s science he also learned a lot about Smithson’s personality. Steven Turner is an historian of science and curator emeritus of physical sciences at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. We asked how he took on this project.

Steven Turner is an historian of science and curator emeritus of physical sciences at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. His new book is called The Science of James Smithson – Discoveries from the Smithsonian Founder. It’s published by Smithsonian Books.

People sometimes take unlikely paths before finding where they need to go in life. That’s the story of this unlikely scholar, a poor student who didn’t learn how to read until he was in fifth grade. From KUOW’s Radio Active Youth Media in Seattle, Tori Zivkovic has his story.

Now that this year’s presidential election is over, was this the political swan song of the baby boomer generation? That’s the topic of today’s Academic Minute.