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Louis Agassiz was a biologist and was renowned for his study of the Ice Age and glaciers. He also advocated polygenesis, or the belief that humans weren’t all of the same species, and that white people were superior.
Louis Agassiz was a biologist and was renowned for his study of the Ice Age and glaciers. He also advocated polygenesis, or the belief that humans weren’t all of the same species, and that white people were superior. (Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

Born in 1807 in Switzerland, Louis Agassiz was a renowned biologist. He advocated polygenesis, the belief that humans weren’t all the same species and that white people were superior. He began working at Harvard in 1847 and commissioned photos of African slaves as part of his efforts to differentiate them from white people.