Award Name : National Medal of Science
Year of Award : 1969
Award for : Biology
Location : Kempten (Allgäu), Bavaria, Germany
Ernst Mayr was a German-born American biologist known for his work in avian taxonomy, population genetics, andevolution. Considered one of the world’s leading evolutionary biologists, he was sometimes referred to as the “Darwin of the 20th century.” Ernst Mayr Born in Kempten, Germany on July 5, 1904. He published his famous book “Systematics and the Origin of Species” in 1942, which heavily contributed to population genetics and the evolutionary synthesis. He received the National Medal Of Science in 1969.
His theory of peripatric speciation, based on his work on birds, is still considered a leading mode of speciation, and was the theoretical underpinning for the theory of punctuated equilibrium, proposed by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould. Mayr is sometimes credited with inventing modern philosophy of biology, particularly the part related to evolutionary biology, which he distinguished from physics due to its introduction of history into science. He died in Bedford, Massachusetts on February 3, 2005. He was 100 years old.