Not Unknown After All These Years
Joseph Leidy was certainly a Renaissance man,1 but I humbly submit that the question of whether or not he's known today depends greatly on your field of interest. For those of us whose research is dependent on fossil vertebrates, Joseph Leidy is as well known today as any of the early founders of the fields in which we work (paleontology, anatomy, zoology, etc.).
It makes me happy that the contributions of scientists such as Leidy are appreciated outside of their major fields. I only hope that their accomplishments within their major fields aren't so easily dismissed as important by everyone. Leidy was certainly a giant and deserving of recognition by scientists in many fields, but most importantly paleontology and anatomy.
Mason B. Meers, PhD
Assistant Professor of Evolutionary Biology & Anatomy
Department of Biology
The University of Tampa