John Muir’s Literary Science

The writings of the Scottish-born American naturalist John Muir are known for their scientific acumen as well as for their rhapsodic flights. Terry Gifford, author of Reconnecting with John Muir, explores Muir’s multifaceted engagement with ‘God’s big show’.

John Muir was not unaware of how his discoveries from his empirical research in Yosemite were being used by the professionals who were impatient for conventional scientific papers from him. Muir suspected that his refusal of scientific discourse initially left him vulnerable. Muir’s early revolutionary newspaper article titled ‘Living Glaciers of California’ began life in a letter of 8 October 1872 to his friend Jeanne Carr in which Muir set out his empirical research results in glaciology, joking, ‘You will have the first chance to steal’.

JMORE.

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