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10 November 2021 Leidy's Web: The Contributions of Joseph Leidy's Network of Scientists to Kansas Paleontology
Jane P. Davidson, Michael J. Everhart
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By the middle of the 19th century, loosely organized systems for “networking” had developed among East Coast American scientists. These networks were both formal, such as memberships in societies or museums, and informal groups of colleagues. Such professional associations helped to establish co-operation in field work, laboratory research, and publication which had a major impact on paleontology. These associations also helped to establish outlets for publication and to acquire government funding for research. Even during the Civil War years, these professional networks served to further science and the careers of a number of young scholars ‘on their way up.’ Some of these activities were conducted under the auspices of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia; others were sponsored through the Federal Government via the United States National Museum (Smithsonian Institution). From these scientific networks, many of which were under the aegis of Joseph Leidy, came a large number of important contributions to Kansas paleontology. Several of these occurred shortly after the close of the Civil War and involved military doctors that were posted to newly established forts in western Kansas. Important discoveries including rich deposits of fossil leaves, type specimens of the marine reptiles including Elasmosaurus platyurus, Polycotylus latipinnis, Tylosaurus proriger, and the first known bird with teeth, Ichthyornis dispar, were made by individuals in Kansas with connections to professionals in the, by then, well-established network of Joseph Leidy.

Jane P. Davidson and Michael J. Everhart "Leidy's Web: The Contributions of Joseph Leidy's Network of Scientists to Kansas Paleontology," Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 124(3-4), 165-181, (10 November 2021).
Published: 10 November 2021
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
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