He was the most famous scientist in the world when he was alive. And then he was forgotten. Join us on the 250th birthday of scientist Alexander von Humboldt as we try (in vain) to summarize his achievements.
Alexander von Humboldt measured everything in sight. Though many of his discoveries are hard to categorize or have been superseded, his holistic view of nature led the way to how we see and understand the world today.
After an unprecedented five-year tour of South America, Mexico and Cuba, Humboldt returned to Europe a hero. Not only was he honored for surviving such an expedition, he freely shared all of his newly acquired knowledge.
Germany's greatest universal scientist had an auspicious start. Born into a respectable Prussian family, his mother arranged the best education possible, despite Berlin's provincial status and famous military obsession.
On the year of the 250th birthday of the pioneering German naturalist, award-winning Humboldt expert Andrea Wulf has published an illustrated book about his storied 1799-1804 expedition through equatorial America.
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