Thomas Jefferson Jackson See
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Thomas Jefferson Jackson (T. J. J.) See (February 19, 1866 – July 4, 1962) was an American astronomer perceived to have high potential but is generally agreed upon to have ended a colorful life with no real accomplishment in astronomy or physics. He was known for a career dogged by plagiarism, being fired from two observatory staffs, grand egotistical claims, being 'exiled' to an isolated outpost, and his vitriolic attacks on relativity.
See was born near Montgomery City, Missouri. He attended the University of Missouri, graduating in 1889 with an undergraduate career that was outwardly stellar. See achieved honors distinction in nearly every subject, became his class valedictorian and was the recipient of the Laws Astronomical Medal for an original thesis on an astronomical subject. However, his speech "The Spirit of the Age" was a plagiarized version on an earlier speech given by another student, and his "original thesis" for the Laws Astronomical Medal was claimed to be original work but was just from prior work by Sir George Darwin. See was also a critical player in the academic insurgency aimed at ousting university president Samuel Laws (in favor of See's mentor William Benjamin Smith). This plagiarism and bitter in-fighting "set the scene for a career perhaps unrivalled as an example of wasted talent". Nevertheless, with the outwardly strong credentials, See went to the University of Berlin where he received a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1892. With a European doctorate, See returned to America with enviable credentials and a career of great promise.
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