George Brown Goode
George Brown Goode was an ichthyologist, although most of his time was spent as a museum administrator and he was very interested in the history of science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, especially the history of the development of science
History of science
The history of science is the study of the historical development of human understandings of the natural world and the domains of the social sciences....

 in America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Goode graduated from Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and...

 and studied at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

. In 1872, he started working with Spencer Baird
Spencer Fullerton Baird
Spencer Fullerton Baird was an American ornithologist, ichthyologist and herpetologist. Starting in 1850 he was assistant-secretary and later secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C...

, soon becoming his very trusted assistant. While working with Baird, Goode led research sponsored by the United States Fish Commission
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is a federal government agency within the United States Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats...

, oversaw several Smithsonian displays and exhibitions, and served as the assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in charge of the United States National Museum.

Goode effectively ran both the fish research program of the U.S. Fish Commission and the Smithsonian Institution from 1873 to 1887. He was the United States Commissioner for Fish and Fisheries
National Fish Hatchery System
The National Fish Hatchery System was established by the U.S. Congress in 1871 through the creation of a U.S. Commissioner for Fish and Fisheries. This system of fish hatcheries is now administered by the Fisheries Program of the U.S...

 from 1887 to 1888. He authored many books and monographs and wrote more than 100 scientific reports and notes.

Goode was a member of the National Academy of Sciences
United States National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

. He received from the Queen Regent of Spain the decoration of Commander in the Royal Order of Ysabel la Catolica. He also was awarded the degree of Ph.D. from Indiana University
Indiana University
Indiana University is a multi-campus public university system in the state of Indiana, United States. Indiana University has a combined student body of more than 100,000 students, including approximately 42,000 students enrolled at the Indiana University Bloomington campus and approximately 37,000...

 and that of LL.D. from Wesleyan University. He died at Lanier Heights, near Washington, D.C., on Sept. 6, 1896.


The genus Goodea
Goodea is a genus of fish in the Goodeidae family.It contains the following species:* Goodea atripinnis – Blackfin Goodea Jordan, 1880* Goodea gracilis...

of splitfins was named in his honour by David Starr Jordan
David Starr Jordan
David Starr Jordan, Ph.D., LL.D. was a leading eugenicist, ichthyologist, educator and peace activist. He was president of Indiana University and Stanford University.-Early life and education:...

 in 1880; this in turn gave his name to the family Goodeidae
Splitfins, are a family, Goodeidae, of teleost fish endemic to Mexico and some areas of the United States. This family contains 40 species within 18 genera. The family is named after ichthyologist George Brown Goode.-Range and Geographic Distribution:...


Species named after him include:
  • Bluefin killifish, Lucania goodei Jordan
    David Starr Jordan
    David Starr Jordan, Ph.D., LL.D. was a leading eugenicist, ichthyologist, educator and peace activist. He was president of Indiana University and Stanford University.-Early life and education:...

    , 1880
  • Southern eagle ray, Myliobatis goodei Garman, 1885.
  • Goode croaker, Paralonchurus goodei Gilbert, 1898.
  • Quillfish
    The quillfish, Ptilichthys goodei, is a species of perciform fish, the only species in the genus Ptilichthys and family Ptilichthyidae. It is an elongate eel-like fish that reaches 34 cm in length...

    , Ptilichthys goodei Bean, 1881.
  • Chilipepper, Sebastes goodei (Eigenmann
    Rosa Smith Eigenmann
    Rosa Smith Eigenmann was the first notable female ichthyologist; first publishing in her own right, she later collaborated with her husband Carl H. Eigenmann, and some 150 species of fish are today credited "Eigenmann & Eigenmann" as a result.She was born in Monmouth, Illinois, the last of nine...

     & Eigenmann
    Carl H. Eigenmann
    Carl H. Eigenmann was an ichthyologist who, along with his wife Rosa Smith Eigenmann, described many of the fishes of North America and South America for the first time....

    , 1890)
  • Palometa
    Palometa is commonly used in naming fish. These names include:*Maracaibo leatherjacket, Oligoplites palometa*Pygocentrus palometa, species of Piranha*Trachinotus goodei, a Caribbean gamefish...

    , Trachinotus goodei Jordan & Evermann, 1896.

Famous publications

  • The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, 7 volumes. (Washington, 1884–1887)
  • American Fishes; a Popular Treatise upon the Game and Food Fishes of North America, with Especial Reference to Habits and Methods of Capture (New York, 1888)

External links

  • Smithsonian article
  • "The Origins of Natural Science in America: Essays of George Brown Goode," ed. with intro. by Sally Gregory Kohlstedt (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991).
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