Clair "Pat" Patterson ’43 was a scientist's scientist. He cared about basic research, knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Although he may be best known for being the first to accurately date the Earth, his discoveries about how lead was polluting air and water and poisoning plants, animals, and human beings defined his career.
In the basement of Burling Library, in the perfectly chilled Print and Drawing Study Room, on an even chillier February afternoon in Grinnell, students eagerly crowded around Jiayun Chen ’19 and Susan Wood, professor of art history at Oakland University. Their attention remained fixed upon a small marble head, resting on a soft white pillow. Chen had examined the portrait before, but this time, she found something new.