Image: Ambrose Palisot de Beauvois (public domain).
Writing my forthcoming book has taken me down a lot of rabbitholes. Many of them have involved the history of science, and especially, the history of natural history. I’ve learned about naturalists who were heroic and naturalists who were despicable; naturalists who were centuries ahead of their times and naturalists stubbornly stuck in the past; naturalists who had every privilege and naturalists who struggled even to feed themselves, let alone to do science. But no naturalist I’ve encountered was as extraordinarily unlucky as Ambroise Marie François Joseph Palisot, Baron de Beauvois. Continue reading