Academy Town Square
The Academy’s Town Square series is designed to engage and provide relevant educational content to the public on environmental issues. Town Squares focus on critical global issues in environmental science by featuring prominent thought leaders and their findings on biodiversity, freshwater issues, climate change, and evolution. Environmental advocates, scientists, and community members come together for an opportunity to further their knowledge about environmental and sustainability matters through accurate, real-time scientific information.
Academy Town Square: Presidential Hair: A Close Shave With History
Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
In the early 19th century, a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences assembled an extraordinary collection of wool, fur and hair, hoping, in a pre-Darwinian world, to discover how animals were related to each other, and what practical purposes their hair might serve. Academy Curator of Art and Artifacts and Senior Fellow Robert Peck will discuss his new book on the subject, Specimens of Hair, at an Academy Town Square. The collector, Peter A. Browne, was a self-taught expert on hair, with a network of associates around the world from whom he sought out examples of what he called “pile” from animals and people alike. Brown was also eager to understand the relationship between people as revealed by their hair. The most famous highlights of his collection include hair from well-known artists, writers, scientists, and 13 of the first 14 U.S. presidents. Following the talk, Peck will sign copies of Specimens of Hair, which features photographs by Rosamond Purcell. The talk is free. Registration information coming soon.