The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum, education, and research complex. It is a beloved part of American culture. But its founder, a British scientist named James Smithson, never once set foot on American soil. So, who would do that? Steven Turner tried to find out. Turner is the author of the new book “The Science of James Smithson – Discoveries from the Smithsonian Founder”. While researching Smithon’s science he also learned a lot about Smithson’s personality. Steven Turner is an historian of science and curator emeritus of physical sciences at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Also on this week program, we’ll also meet an unlikely scholar and spend an Academic Minute with the political swan song of the baby boomers.