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Hutchinson, G. Evelyn (George Evelyn), 1903-1991



  • Existence: 1903 - 1991

G. Evelyn Hutchinson, a zoologist well-known for his work on the ecology of freshwater lakes, was born in Cambridge, England in 1903 and received his B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University. In 1928 he joined the faculty of Yale University, rising to become Sterling Professor of Zoology from 1952-71, when he retired from teaching. He became a citizen of the United States in 1941.

Hutchinson, a man of wide literary interests, was introduced to the writings of Rebecca West by his wife Margaret, who admired the British feminist author greatly. Hutchinson himself was taken with her 1928 book of criticism, The Strange Necessity. As he explained in "First Encounter with Rebecca West:"

"The theme of this study is that all important art represents a journey of discovery. She held to this view as a major aspect of aesthetics and from it derived a view that the creative processes of science and art are basically similar. Although the basic idea of the book was hardly noticed by literary authorities, it was a view that instantly appealed to me."

In 1947 Hutchinson began discussing West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon in his regular American Scientist columns, and sent West copies of these at his wife's suggestion. This led to West's first visit with the Hutchinsons and resulted in a lifelong friendship among West, Hutchinson and his wife. Hutchinson published his bibliography of West's writings, A Preliminary List of the Writings of Rebecca West, 1912-1951, in 1957 to coincide with her appearance at Yale as Terry Lecturer, and was instrumental in her gift of her papers to the university as well.

In addition to his West bibliography and many scholarly articles on aquatic ecosystems and aspects of evolution, Hutchinson's works include The Clear Mirror (1936), A treatise on Limnology (1957, 1967, 1975), The Enchanted Voyage (1962), The Ecological Theater and the Evolutionary Play (1965), and Introduction to Population Ecology (1978). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1949 and to the National Academy of Science in the following year. In 1971 he received the Edward Browning Achievement Award, and in 1974 the Tyler and the Cottrell Awards. G. Evelyn Hutchinson died in Cambridge, England in 1991.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Ross Granville Harrison papers

Call Number: MS 263
Overview: The papers consist of correspondence, administrative and teaching files, and research materials which document the personal life and professional career of Ross Granville Harrison. Correspondence with many academic, medical, and scientific figures is included, as are the records relating to Yale University's Department of Zoology (1920-1938) and Osborn Zoological Laboratory (1919-1938). Drafts of writings, lectures and related visual materials, research files, and photographs are also arranged...
Dates: 1820-1975, bulk 1889-1959