Gaze at Alexander Von Humboldt's 1814 self-portrait and you peer into the eyes of a man who sought to see and understand everything. By this point in his life, at age 45, Humboldt had tutored himself in every branch of science, spent more than five years on a 6,000-mile scientific trek through South America, pioneered new methods for the graphical display of information, set a world mountain-climbing record that stood for 30 years, and established himself as one of the world's most famous scientists, having helped to define many of today's natural sciences.
Written by Richard Gunderman for The Conversation May 1, 2019
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