Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen was a German chemist. He investigated emission spectra of heated elements, discovered caesium and rubidium with the physicist Gustav Kirchhoff. Bunsen developed several gas-analytical methods, was a pioneer in photochemistry, did early work in the field of organoarsenic chemistry. With his laboratory assistant, Peter Desaga, he developed the Bunsen burner, an improvement on the laboratory burners in use; the Bunsen–Kirchhoff Award for spectroscopy is named after Bunsen and Kirchhoff. Robert Bunsen was born at Göttingen in what is now the state of Lower Saxony in Germany. Bunsen was the youngest of four sons of the University of Göttingen's chief librarian and professor of modern philology, Christian Bunsen. After attending school in Holzminden, Bunsen matriculated at Göttingen in 1828 and studied chemistry with Friedrich Stromeyer as well as mineralogy with Johann Friedrich Ludwig Hausmann and mathematics with Carl Friedrich Gauss. After obtaining a PhD in 1831, Bunsen spent 1832 and 1833 traveling in Germany and Austria.
In 1833 Bunsen became a lecturer at Göttingen and began experimental studies of the solubility of metal salts of arsenous acid. His discovery of the use of iron oxide hydrate as a precipitating agent is still today the most effective antidote against arsenic poisoning; this interdisciplinary research was carried on and published in conjunction with the physician Arnold Adolph Berthold. In 1836, Bunsen succeeded Friedrich Wöhler at the Polytechnic School of Kassel. Bunsen taught there for three years, accepted an associate professorship at the University of Marburg, where he continued his studies on cacodyl derivatives, he was promoted to full professorship in 1841. While at University of Marburg, Bunsen participated in the 1846 expedition for the investigation of Iceland's volcanoes. Bunsen's work brought him quick and wide acclaim because cacodyl, toxic and undergoes spontaneous combustion in dry air, is so difficult to work with. Bunsen died from arsenic poisoning, an explosion with cacodyl cost him sight in his right eye.
In 1841, Bunsen created the Bunsen cell battery, using a carbon electrode instead of the expensive platinum electrode used in William Robert Grove's electrochemical cell. Early in 1851 he accepted a professorship at the University of Breslau, where he taught for three semesters. In late 1852 Bunsen became the successor of Leopold Gmelin at the University of Heidelberg. There he used electrolysis to produce pure metals, such as chromium, aluminum, sodium, barium and lithium. A long collaboration with Henry Enfield Roscoe began in 1852, in which they studied the photochemical formation of hydrogen chloride from hydrogen and chlorine. From this work, the reciprocity law of Bunsen and Roscoe originated, he discontinued his work with Roscoe in 1859 and joined Gustav Kirchhoff to study emission spectra of heated elements, a research area called spectrum analysis. For this work and his laboratory assistant, Peter Desaga, had perfected a special gas burner by 1855, influenced by earlier models; the newer design of Bunsen and Desaga, which provided a hot and clean flame, is now called the "Bunsen burner", a common laboratory equipment.
There had been earlier studies of the characteristic colors of heated elements, but nothing systematic. In the summer of 1859, Kirchhoff suggested to Bunsen that he should try to form prismatic spectra of these colors. By October of that year the two scientists had invented an appropriate instrument, a prototype spectroscope. Using it, they were able to identify the characteristic spectra of sodium and potassium. After numerous laborious purifications, Bunsen proved that pure samples gave unique spectra. In the course of this work, Bunsen detected unknown new blue spectral emission lines in samples of mineral water from Dürkheim, he guessed. After careful distillation of forty tons of this water, in the spring of 1860 he was able to isolate 17 grams of a new element, he named the element "caesium", after the Latin word for deep blue. The following year he discovered rubidium, by a similar process. In 1860, Bunsen was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 1877, Robert Bunsen together with Gustav Robert Kirchhoff were the first recipients of the prestigious Davy Medal "for their researches & discoveries in spectrum analysis".
Bunsen was one of the most universally admired scientists of his generation. He was a master teacher, devoted to his students, they were devoted to him. At a time of vigorous and caustic scientific debates, Bunsen always conducted himself as a perfect gentleman, maintaining his distance from theoretical disputes, he much preferred to work in his laboratory, continuing to enrich his science with useful discoveries. As a matter of principle he never took out a patent, he never married. Despite his lack of pretension, Bunsen was a vivid "chemical character," had a well-developed sense of humor, is the subject of many amusing anecdotes; when Bunsen retired at the age of 78, he shifted his work to geology and mineralogy, interests which he had pursued throughout his career. He died in Heidelberg at the age of 88. Bunsen reaction Bunsenite Pneumatolysis List of German inventors and discoverers Media related to Robert Bunsen at Wikimedia Commons Robert Wilhelm Bunse
Tufts University is a private research university in Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts. A charter member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, Tufts College was founded in 1852 by Christian universalists who worked for years to open a nonsectarian institution of higher learning, it was a small New England liberal arts college until its transformation into a larger research university in the 1970s. The university emphasizes active citizenship and public service in all its disciplines, is known for its internationalism and study abroad programs. Tufts is organized into ten schools, including two undergraduate degree programs and eight graduate divisions, on four campuses in the Boston metropolitan area and the French Alps. Among its schools is the United States' oldest graduate school of international relations, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Tufts' largest school is the School of Arts and Sciences, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and includes both the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, affiliated with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The School of Engineering has an entrepreneurial focus with the Gordon Institute and maintains close connections with the original college. The university has a campus in Downtown Boston that houses the medical and nutrition schools, affiliated with several medical centers in the area; the university offers joint undergraduate degree programs with the New England Conservatory, the Sciences Po Paris with additional programs with the University of Paris, University of Oxford and constituents of the University of London. Several of its programs have affiliations with the nearby institutions of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Alumni and affiliates include Nobel laureates, heads of state, senators, representatives and Academy Award winners, National Academy members. Tufts has graduated several Rhodes, Fulbright, Goldwater scholars. Other notable alumni include numerous CEOs and founders of Fortune 500 companies, high ranking U. S. diplomats, Pulitzer Prize winners.
In the 1840s, the Universalist Church wanted to open a college in New England, Charles Tufts donated 20 acres to the church in 1852 to help them achieve this goal. Charles Tufts had inherited the land, a barren hill, one of the highest points in the Boston area, called Walnut Hill, when asked by a family member what he intended to do with the land, he said "I will put a light on it", his 20-acre donation is still at the heart of Tufts' now-150 acre campus, straddling Somerville and Medford. It was in 1852 that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts chartered Tufts College, noting the college should promote "virtue and piety and learning in such of the languages and liberal and useful arts as shall be recommended". During his tenure, Ballou spent a year studying in the United Kingdom; the methods of instruction which he initiated were based on the tutorials that were conducted in the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh. Now more than 160 years old, Tufts is the third-oldest college in the Boston area.
Having been one of the biggest influences in the establishment of the College, Hosea Ballou II became the first president in 1853, College Hall, the first building on campus, was completed the following year. That building now bears Ballou's name; the campus opened in August 1854. President Ballou was succeeded by Alonzo Ames Miner. Though not a college graduate, his presidency was marked by several advances; these include the establishment of preparatory schools for Tufts which include Goddard Seminary, Westbrook Seminary, Dean Academy. During the Civil War the college supported the Union cause; the mansion of Major George L. Stearns which stood on part of the campus was a station on the Underground Railroad. In addition to having the largest classes spring up, 63 graduates served in the Union army; the first course of a three-year program leading to a degree in civil engineering was established in 1865, the same year MIT was founded. By 1869, the Crane Theological School was organized. Miner's successor, Elmer Capen was the first president to be a Tufts alumnus.
During his time, one of the earliest innovators was Amos Dolbear. In 1875, as chair of the physics department, he installed a working telephone which connected his lab in Ballou Hall to his home on Professors Row. Two years Alexander Graham Bell would receive the patent. Dolbear's work in Tufts was continued by Marconi and Tesla. Other famous scholars include William Leslie Hooper who in addition to serving as acting president, designed the first slotted armature for dynamos, his student at the college, Frederick Stark Pearson, would become one of America's pioneers of the electrical power industry. He became responsible for the development of the electric power and electric street car systems which many cities in South America and Europe used. Another notable figure is Stephen M. Babcock who developed the first practical test to determine the amount of butterfat in milk. Since its development in the college, the Babcock Test has hardly been modified. Expansion of the chemistry and biology departments were led by scholars Arthur Michael, one of the first organic chemists in the U.
S. and John Sterling Kingsley, one of the first scholars of comparative anatomy. P. T. Barnum was one of the earliest benefactors of Tufts College, the Barnum Museum of Natural History was constructed in 1884 with funds donated by him to house his collection of animal specimens and the stuffed hide of Jumbo the elephant, who would become the university'
J. Norman Collie
Professor John Norman Collie FRSE FRS referred to as J. Norman Collie, was an English scientist and explorer, he was born in Alderley Edge, the second of four sons to John Collie and Selina Mary Winkworth. In 1870 the family moved to Clifton, near Bristol, John was educated at Windlesham in Surrey and in 1873 at Charterhouse School; the family money had been made in the cotton trade, but in 1875 the American Civil War resulted in their financial ruin when their American stock was burnt. Collie had to leave Charterhouse and transfer to Clifton College, Bristol where he realised he was unsuited for the classics, he developed an interest in chemistry. He earned a PhD in chemistry under Johannes Wislicenus at Würzburg in 1884. Returning to Britain, he taught three years at Cheltenham Ladies College where, according to his niece, "he was far from being a ladies' man and found that schoolgirls in bulk were rather more than he could stomach", he left to join University College London as an assistant to William Ramsay.
His early work allied ammonium compounds. He made important contributions to the knowledge of dehydracetic acid, describing a number of remarkable'condensations,' whereby it is converted into pyridine and naphthalene derivatives. Collie served as Professor of Organic Chemistry at UCL from 1896 to 1913, headed its chemistry department from 1913 to 1928, he performed important research that led to the taking of the first x-ray for diagnosing medical conditions. According to Bentley, Collie "worked with Ramsay on the inert gases, constructed the first neon lamp, proposed a dynamic structure for benzene, discovered the first oxonium salt." The work on neon discharge lamps was conducted in 1909. The effect of glowing neon in contact with mercury was some times called Collier effect, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1888. His proposers included Edmund Albert Letts, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June 1896. Collie's professional career was spent as a scientist but his avocation was mountaineering.
Among mountaineers, he is best remembered for his pioneering climbs on the Cuillin in the Isle of Skye, but he climbed in the English Lake District and in the Alps with William Cecil Slingsby and Albert F. Mummery. Collie appears to have begun climbing in Skye in 1886, he made an ascent of Sgùrr nan Gillean. After two unsuccessful attempts he was given advice on the route by John Mackenzie, a Skye crofter and Britain's first professional mountain guide. Collie returned to Skye and climbed with MacKenzie, the two men becoming firm friends and making many first ascents. In 1899 he discovered a unique rock feature on the Coire Laggan face of Sron na Ciche; this he climbed in 1906 with Mackenzie. Collie was instrumental in producing much better maps of the Cuillin which had defied the skills of cartographers, he is commemorated in the Cuillin by Sgúrr Thormaid He is remembered in Collie's Ledge, a famously exposed rocky scramble across the west face of Sgùrr Mhic Choinnich, named after his great friend.
Since the first traverse of this ledge was made by MacKenzie with the Irish climber, Henry Hart, rather than Collie himself, some authoritative publications have begun to use the name Hart's LedgeIn the 1997 BBC TV series on Scottish climbing, The Edge and MacKenzie's exploits were re-enacted by Alan Kimber and John Lyall Collie made significant ascents on mainland Scotland, notably the first ascent and first winter ascent of Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis with Godfrey Solly and J. Collier on 29 March 1894; the ridge had one previous descent by the Hopkinsons in 1892. In 1895, Collie and fellow climber Geoffrey Hastings went to the Himalaya Range for the world's first attempt at a Himalayan 8,000-metre peak, Nanga Parbat, they were years ahead of their time, the mountain claimed the first of its many victims: Mummery and two Gurkhas and Goman Singh were killed by an avalanche and never seen again. The story of this disastrous expedition is told From the Himalaya to Skye. After gaining climbing experience on the Alps, the Caucasus and the Himalaya, in 1897 Collie joined the Appalachian Club upon the invitation of Charles Fay, spent the summer climbing in the Canadian Rockies.
From 1898 to 1911, Collie visited the Canadian Rockies five more times, accomplishing twenty-one first ascents and naming more than thirty peaks. He was interested in locating and climbing the mythical giants of Hooker and Brown which had bordered the forgotten fur trade route through the Rockies and were reputed to be over 16,000 feet high. In 1903, Collie and Hugh Stutfield published an authoritative book on the region and Explorations in the Canadian Rockies. Collie thereafter spent his summers in Skye, he died at Sligachan in November 1942 from pneumonia, after falling into Loch Leathan below the Storr a year earlier whilst fishing. In keeping with his wishes,he was interred next to his friend, John MacKenzie, in an old graveyard at Struan by Bracadale next to Loch Harport. In a book published in 2013 it is suggested that Collie may have inspired Conan Doyle with some characteristics for Sherlock Holmes. Apart from his mountaineering skills Collie was a confirmed bachelor sharing his house with a solicitor.
With an analytical mind honed by chemical research he had wide interests ranging from Ch
Edward Whymper was an English mountaineer, explorer and author best known for the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. Four members of his climbing party were killed during the descent. Whymper made important first ascents on the Mont Blanc massif and in the Pennine Alps, Chimborazo in South America, the Canadian Rockies, his exploration of Greenland contributed an important advance to Arctic exploration. Whymper wrote several books including Scrambles Amongst the Alps. Edward Whymper was born in London, England, on 27 April 1840 to the artist and wood engraver Josiah Wood Whymper and Elizabeth Claridge, he was the second of eleven children, his older brother being the artist and explorer Frederick Whymper. He was trained to be a wood-engraver at an early age. In 1860, he made extensive forays into the central and western Alps to produce a series of commissioned alpine scenery drawings. Among the objects of this tour was the illustration of an unsuccessful attempt made by Professor Bonney's party to ascend Mont Pelvoux, at that time believed to be the highest peak of the Dauphiné Alps.
In 1861, Whymper completed the ascent of Mont Pelvoux, the first of a series of expeditions that threw much light on the topography of an area at that time imperfectly mapped. From the summit of Mont Pelvoux, Whymper discovered that it was overtopped by a neighbouring peak, subsequently named the Barre des Écrins, before the annexation of Savoy added Mont Blanc to the possessions of France, was the highest point in the French Alps. Whymper climbed the Barre des Écrins in 1864 with Horace Walker, A. W. Moore and guides Christian Almer senior and junior; the years 1861 to 1865 were filled with a number of new expeditions in the Mont Blanc massif and the Pennine Alps, among them the first ascents of the Aiguille d'Argentière and Mont Dolent in 1864, the Aiguille Verte, the Grand Cornier and Pointe Whymper on the Grandes Jorasses in 1865. That year he made the first crossing of the Moming Pass. According to his own words, his only failure was on the west ridge of the Dent d'Hérens in 1863; as a result of his Alpine experience, he designed a tent that came to be known as the "Whymper tent" and tents based on his design were still being manufactured 100 years later.
Professor John Tyndall and Whymper emulated each other in determined attempts to reach the summit of the Matterhorn by the south-western, or Italian, ridge. In 1865, who had failed eight times attempted unsuccessfully to climb a couloir on the south-east face with Michel Croz. After Croz left for a prior engagement with Charles Hudson, Whymper was unable to secure the services of Val Tournanche guide Jean Antoine Carrel, instead planned to try the eastern face with Lord Francis Douglas and the two Zermatt guides, Peter Taugwalder father and son. Whymper was convinced that the Matterhorn's precipitous appearance when viewed from Zermatt was an optical illusion, that the dip of the strata, which on the Italian side formed a continuous series of overhangs, should make the opposite side a natural staircase; this party of four was joined by Hudson and Croz, the inexperienced Douglas Hadow. Their attempt by what is now the normal route, the Hörnli ridge, met with success on 14 July 1865, only days before an Italian party.
On the descent, Hadow slipped and fell onto Croz, dislodging him and dragging Douglas and Hudson to their deaths. A controversy ensued as to whether the rope had been cut, but a formal investigation could not find any proof, Peter Taugwalder was acquitted; the rope had snapped between Lord Francis Douglas. Whymper asked Taugwalder to see the rope and to his surprise he saw that it was the oldest and weakest of the ropes they brought and it was only intended as a reserve. All those who had fallen had been tied with a Manila rope, or with a second and strong one, it had been only between the survivors and those who had fallen where the weaker rope had been used. Whymper had suggested to Hudson that they should have attached a rope to the rocks on the most difficult place, held it as they descended, as an additional protection. Hudson approved the idea, it can be deduced that Taugwalder had no other choice but to use a weaker rope as the stronger rope was not long enough to connect Taugwalder to Douglas.
The account of Whymper's attempts on the Matterhorn occupies the greater part of his book, Scrambles amongst the Alps, in which the illustrations are engraved by Whymper himself. The accident haunted Whymper: Every night, do you understand, I see my comrades of the Matterhorn slipping on their backs, their arms outstretched, one after the other, in perfect order at equal distances—Croz the guide, first Hadow Hudson, lastly Douglas. Yes, I shall always see them... Whymper's 1865 campaign had been planned to test his route-finding skills in preparation for an expedition to Greenland in 1867; the exploration in Greenland resulted in an important collection of fossil plants, which were described by Professor Heer and deposited in the British Museum. Whymper's report was published in the report of the British Association of 1869. Though hampered by a lack of supplies and an epidemic among the local people, he proved that the interior could be explored by the use of suitably constructed sledges, thus contributed an important advance to Arctic exploration.
Another expedition in 1872 was devoted to a survey of the coastline. Whymper next organised an expedition to Ecuador, designed to collect data for the study of altitude sickness and the effect of reduced pressure on the human body, his chief guide was Jean-Antoine Carrel, who died from
In mountaineering, a first ascent is the first successful, documented attainment of the top of a mountain, or the first to follow a particular climbing route. First mountain ascents are notable because they entail genuine exploration, with greater risks and recognition than climbing a route pioneered by others; the person who performs the first ascent is called the first ascensionist. In free climbing, a first ascent of a climbing route is the first successful, documented climb of a route without using equipment such as anchors or ropes for aiding progression or resting; the details of the first ascents of many prominent mountains are scanty or unknown. Today, first ascents are carefully recorded and mentioned in guidebooks. Overwhelmingly, the idea of a "first ascent" is a modern one in places such as Africa and the Americas with a history of colonialism. There may be little or no physical evidence or documentation about the climbing activities of indigenous peoples living near the mountain.
For example, the volcano Llullaillaco on the border of Argentina and Chile is known to have been climbed in the prehistoric period due to the presence of Incan artifacts at the summit, yet credit for the first recorded ascent is given to Chilean climbers Bión González and Juan Harseim, who summited in 1952. The term is used when referring to ascents made using a specific technique or taking a specific route, such as via the North Face, without ropes or without oxygen. In rock climbing, some of the earlier first ascents for difficult routes, involved a mix of free and aid climbing; as a result, purist free climbers have developed the designation first free ascent to acknowledge ascents intentionally made more challenging by using equipment for protection only. Second ascents are noteworthy in climbing circles involving improving on a pioneering route through lessons learned from it, experience which may span from technical improvements to having a better understanding of how much gear and provisions to take.
Some other "first ascents" could be recorded for particular routes. One is the First Winter Ascent, which is, as the name suggests, the first ascent made during winter season; this is most important where the climate of winter is a factor in increasing the difficulty grade of the route. In the Northern Hemisphere conventional winter ascents are made between December 21 and March 21 and are not related to the conditions. In the Himalayan area, although Nepal and China's winter season permits start on December 1, the conventional winter ascents begin on December 21. Another is the First Solo Ascent, the first ascent made by a single climber; this is most important on high-level rock climbing, when the climber has to provide his own security or when climbing without any protection at all. Another type of ascent known as FFA is the first female ascent. While not considered as important, this designation remains significant on some difficult, limit-pushing climbs, where the first female ascent may not happen until well after the FA, due to possible difficulties encountered by female physicality.
The term last ascent has been used to refer to an ascent of a mountain or face that has subsequently changed to such an extent – because of rockfall – that the route no longer exists. It can be used facetiously to refer to a climb, so unpleasant or unaesthetic that no one would willingly repeat the first ascent party's ordeal. List of first ascents Notable first free ascents List of first ascents in the Alps List of first ascents in the Himalaya Glossary of climbing terms Alpinist Magazine – Peter Mortimer's First Ascent, Issue 17
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, its history and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities; the Harvard Corporation is its first chartered corporation. Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, its curriculum and student body were secularized during the 18th century, by the 19th century, Harvard had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites. Following the American Civil War, President Charles W. Eliot's long tenure transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university. A. Lawrence Lowell, who followed Eliot, further reformed the undergraduate curriculum and undertook aggressive expansion of Harvard's land holdings and physical plant.
James Bryant Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II and began to reform the curriculum and liberalize admissions after the war. The undergraduate college became coeducational after its 1977 merger with Radcliffe College; the university is organized into eleven separate academic units—ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study—with campuses throughout the Boston metropolitan area: its 209-acre main campus is centered on Harvard Yard in Cambridge 3 miles northwest of Boston. Harvard's endowment is worth $39.2 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Harvard is a large residential research university; the nominal cost of attendance is high, but the university's large endowment allows it to offer generous financial aid packages. The Harvard Library is the world's largest academic and private library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding over 18 million items; the University is cited as one of the world's top tertiary institutions by various organizations.
Harvard's alumni include eight U. S. presidents, more than thirty foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, 242 Marshall Scholars. As of October 2018, 158 Nobel laureates, 18 Fields Medalists, 14 Turing Award winners have been affiliated as students, faculty, or researchers. In addition, Harvard students and alumni have won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes and 108 Olympic medals, have founded a large number of companies worldwide. Harvard was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America's first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, who had left the school £779 and his scholar's library of some 400 volumes; the charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650. A 1643 publication gave the school's purpose as "to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust".
It offered a classic curriculum on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. It was never affiliated with any particular denomination, but many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches; the leading Boston divine Increase Mather served as president from 1685 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president, not a clergyman, marking a turning of the college from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence. Throughout the 18th century, Enlightenment ideas of the power of reason and free will became widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties; when the Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and the president of Harvard Joseph Willard died a year in 1804, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the chair in 1805, the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency of Harvard two years which signaled the changing of the tide from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.
In 1846, the natural history lectures of Louis Agassiz were acclaimed both in New York and on the campus at Harvard College. Agassiz's approach was distinctly idealist and posited Americans' "participation in the Divine Nature" and the possibility of understanding "intellectual existences". Agassiz's perspective on science combined observation with intuition and the assumption that a person can grasp the "divine plan" in all phenomena; when it came to explaining life-forms, Agassiz resorted to matters of shape based on a presumed archetype for his evidence. This dual view of knowledge was in concert with the teachings of Common Sense Realism derived from Scottish philosophers Thomas Reid and Dugald Stewart, whose works were part of the Harvard curriculum at the time; the popularity of Agassiz's efforts to "soar with Plato" also derived from other writings to which Harvard students