From Today in Science History:
Richard Darwin Keynes (Born 14 Aug 1919). British physiologist who did pioneering work on the mechanisms underlying the conduction of the action potential along nerve fibres. Early in his career, he worked with the giant nerve fibers of squid, which would help discover how nerve impulses are transmitted in all animals. In later resarch, he determined how electric eels project electric fields outside their bodies. Keynes was the first to use radioactive sodium and potassium tracer atoms to follow the movements of these atoms when an impulse is transmitted along a nerve fibre. He has written extensively about the life and work of his great-grandfather, Charles Darwin, beginning with The Beagle Record (1979).
Paul Bartsch (Born 14 Aug 1871; died 24 Apr 1960). German-American zoologist who was an authority on molluscs, but had broad interests in natural history including plants and birds. He began his career as assistant curator of marine invertebrates at the US National Museum, Washington, DC., but then worked until retirement for the Smithsonian Institution (1896-1942). He represented that organisation on numerous zoological expeditions. In 1902, he initiated a systematic, scientific bird banding program (credited as the first in North America since John James Audubon) by banding 23 Black-crowned Night-herons at Washington, DC. During WW I, he invented a gas detector for the Chemical Warfare Service in 1918. Bartsch organized the first Boy Scout troop in Washington.
Ernest Thompson Seton (Born 14 Aug 1860; died 23 Oct 1946). Anglo-American naturalist, writer and illustrator who applied these skills in over forty books on wild life, woodcraft, Indian lore and animal-fiction stories. As a capable naturalist, in his field observations he made detailed studies of morphology, physiology, distribution, and behaviour. His fame as author began with Wild Animals I Have Known (1898) – still in print a century later. Over a period of twenty years he delivered over three thousand lectures. Believing in promoting the values of ethology and ecology, he was chairman of the committee that established the Boy Scouts in the U.S. (1910). Seton envisioned the North American Indian as a model for the movement, but Baden-Powell’s military structure was adopted as in Britain.
Frederic Ward Putnam (Died 14 Aug 1915; born 16 Apr 1839). American archeologist, naturalist and museum administrator who played a major role in the popularization of anthropology, its acceptance as a university study, and instigated more anthropological museums. After entering Harvard College as a student (1856), he was much influenced by Louis Agassiz. As Curator of the Peabody Museum (1875-1909), Putnam organized numerous pioneering expeditions in Southwest and Central American archeology. As director of the anthropological section of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1891-93), he mounted an impressive exhibit. It created wide-spread interest in anthropology, and subsequently became the nucleus of the great collections of the Field Museum in Chicago.
Richard Jefferies (Died 14 Aug 1887; born 6 Nov 1848). (John) Richard Jefferies, born near Swindon was a naturalist, novelist, and essayist. He began his literary career as a local reporter in Wiltshire, and from then on he wrote many works of natural history and country life, and essays in journals and magazines. Jefferies relied greatly on ‘field notebooks’, where he entered his meticulous observations on the life of the countryside. Wild Life in a Southern Country, in which the author, sitting on a Wiltshire down, observes in ever widening circles the fields, woods, animals, and human inhabitants below him, was published with success in 1879. He wrote his autobiography, Story of My Heart (1883). His vision was unappreciated in his own Victorian age but has been increasingly recognized and admired since his death.