The Scholars Gild - April 2024

John James Audubon (1785–1851), the painter and ornithologist, has long been respected as “America’s greatest naturalist.” His major work, a color-plate book titled, The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. However, Audubon's writings and paintings have gradually been exposed to contain innumerable cases of scientific fraud, plagiarism, fabricated data and narratives.

Our speaker, Dr. Matthew Halley, will summarize his extensive work to reassess Audubon's scientific acumen and knowledge of American birds and will discuss its far-reaching implications for scientists, historians, and the general public today.

Dr. Matthew Halley is an ornithologist and historian who has conducted extensive research on birds in the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East. He is the author of dozens of thought-provoking articles about bird taxonomy and evolution and has described several new species and subspecies of tropical birds. As an historian, Halley has also located and published many novel primary sources, from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, that have overturned long-held beliefs within American ornithology. He is the Assistant Curator of Birds at the Delaware Museum of Nature & Science (Wilmington, DE) and a Research Associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA), where he earned his doctorate in 2021. He is from Chester County, PA.

Meeting ID: 870 3686 9112 Passcode: 957929
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