Arthur Smith Woodward’s wife, Maud, recorded scientific visitors invited to their home between 1894 and 1944, on an embroidered tablecloth. The tablecloth contains 342 signatures covering a 50-year period. It forms a unique and fascinating historical record including many of the great figures of late nineteenth and early twentieth century biology, geology and palaeontology from around the world. Many other professionals, amateurs and collectors are also represented.
Figures & Tables
Arthur Smith Woodward was the Natural History Museum’s longest-serving Keeper of Geology and the world’s leading expert on fossil fish. He was also an unwitting victim of the Piltdown fraud, which overshadowed his important scientific contributions. The aim of this book is to honour Smith Woodward’s contributions to vertebrate palaeontology, discuss their relevance today and provide insights into the factors that made him such an eminent scientist. The last few years have seen a resurgence in fossil vertebrate (particularly fish) palaeontology, including new techniques for the ‘virtual’ study of fossils (synchrotron and micro CT-scanning) and new research foci, such as ‘Evo-Devo’ – combining fossils with the development of living animals. This new research is built on a strong foundation, like that provided by Smith Woodward’s work. This collection of papers, authored by some of the leading experts in their fields, covers the many facets of Smith Woodward’s life, legacy and career. It will be a benchmark for studies on one of the leading vertebrate palaeontologists of his generation.