Stephen Jay Gould

Gould, Stephen Jay (1941–2002), a United States paleontologist, educator, and author. In 1972, he and the paleontologist Niles Eldredge together proposed a theory of evolution called punctuated equilibrium. This theory states that many species have had short periods of rapid evolutionary change between long periods of virtually no change. (The traditional theory of evolution holds that evolution occurs continually at a slow pace.)

Gould was born in New York City. In 1967, he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and joined the faculty of Harvard University. He popularized many of his ideas on evolutionary biology in numerous books and in a monthly column in the magazine Natural History. Among his books are Ever Since Darwin (1977), The Panda's Thumb (1980), Bully for Brontosaurus (1991), and The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002).