Forgotten heroes of science communication: Maynard Shipley (1872-1934)
Maynard Shipley was born in Baltimore in 1872, one in a family of ten children. He managed to become a scholar with little formal education. He educated himself through hard study after work; he worked in a variety of jobs from acting to teaching the piano, to working as a retail shoe clerk. He was a mature student at the University of California (Stanford) for about a year, but never obtained formal qualifications.
In 1898, his interest in science began and he formed a discussion group called the Seattle Academy of Sciences and began lecturing in science. In 1904 he started a boarding school for boys which continued for only two years. At this time, he joined the Socialist Party and became a close friend of Eugene Debs, the Socialist Presidential candidate.
In 1920, he was the unsuccessful socialist candidate for Congress in Alameda County, California. His living from 1922 onwards depended on his lectures on astronomy and evolution, his writing science articles for newspapers and magazines, producing two long-standing radio programs and writing Little Blue Books for the publisher Emanuel Haldeman-Julius.
His second wife was Miriam Allen deFord, whom he married in 1917 and she was also a successful writer. He founded the Science League of America in 1924. He continued an amazingly active life communicating science through all the means that were available to him at the time until ill-health in 1932 and his death in 1934 brought his efforts to a close.
Dr W. P. Palmer, Retired Science Educator.
When: Monday 17th February, 3:00-3:30
Where: Room G21, Learning and Teaching Building, 19 Ancora Imparo Way, Clayton