"The measure of good science is that it can be understood," he added. "That dictum applies at all levels from researchers to K-12 among those who create new knowledge, those who deliver it and those who receive it. Everyone everywhere deserves to understand science for their own good and that of others. That is the importance of science education."
Jacobs' scientific passion is evolution, which he describes as "the unifying concept that links disparate facts about life into a coherent whole. It is the basis for understanding the interrelationships of life and planet Earth. More than that, life makes every topic more interesting, such as exploration of space and the search for life beyond the bounds of Earth."
"The evolution of life on Earth ultimately leads to us and to all other species living here and now," Jacobs said. "Our understanding of the relationships between Earth and the life it bears is fundamentally important to our future. Think of the Earth as performing experiments in climate change, and the fossil record explaining their effects on life. Now fast forward climate change to the future and see what we can expect."
Breadth of teaching and research marks a lifetime of service
A mentor to students, Jacobs has conducted extensive field research worldwide. He has provided specimens to the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. That includes the skeleton of Malawisaurus on display in the lobby, which he and his colleagues named and provided to the museum.
Jacobs' field research is now focused on Angola in southwestern Africa. He co-leads Projecto Paleo-Angola, a collaborative international scientific research program to understand the effect of the opening of
|Contact: Margaret Allen|
Southern Methodist University