Meeting Abstract

51.3  Saturday, Jan. 5  Edward S. Morse 1838-1925. History of scholarly exchanges in marine zoology between US and Japan MORSE, MPATR; Univ. of Washington, Friday Harbor Labs mpmorse@u.washington.edu

Japan and the United States share a distinguished scientist who had a remarkable history with Japan 150 years ago. Edward Sylvester Morse (1838 - 1925) received his understanding of natural history at Harvard University in the laboratory of Professor Louis Agassiz, the founder of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. Morse is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and holds four honorary doctorates, from Bowdoin College (1871), Harvard University (1892), Yale University (1918) and Tufts University (1922). Early in his career, in 1877 he visited Japan to collect brachiopods and shortly after his arrival, was invited to be the first Professor of Zoology in Japan and develop natural history and zoological studies at the University of Tokyo. During his time in Japan Professor Morse created the first marine laboratory at Enoshima, established scientific studies on the evolution of the Brachiopoda, and brought the studies of evolution and zoology to Japanese students and into the Japanese science classrooms. He also discovered the ancient shell Mounds of Omori and dug a collection of ancient Japanese pottery still on display at the University of Tokyo. Later at the Peabody Museum in Salem Massachusetts Morse wrote an account of Japan Day by Day, wrote an account with precise illustrations of the Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings, and researched the ancient Japanese pottery formulating a catalog that has also been translated into Japanese. Morse curated two collections of the ancient and modern pottery, one in Japan and one in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Professor Morse was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Scholarly exchanges between the US and Japan will be reviewed and the importance of Morse discussed.