Vernon Kellogg

Vernon Lyman Kellogg was a U.S. entomologist, evolutionary biologist, and science administrator. His father was Lyman Beecher Kellogg, first president of the Kansas State Normal School (now known as Emporia State University), and former Kansas Attorney General. He studied under Francis Snow at the University of Kansas, under John Henry Comstock at Stanford University, and under Rudolf Leuckart at the University of Leipzig in Germany.

From 1894 to 1920 Kellogg was professor of entomology at Stanford University Kellogg specialized in insect taxonomy and economic entomology. Herbert Hoover was among his students, and Florence E. Bemis worked in his lab.

His academic career was interrupted by two years (1915 and 1916) spent in Brussels as director of Hoover’s humanitarian American Commission for Relief in Belgium. Initially a pacifist, Kellogg dined with the officers of the German Supreme Command. He became shocked by the grotesque Social Darwinist motivation for the German war machine – the creed of survival of the fittest based on violent and fatal competitive struggle is the Gospel of the German intellectuals. Kellogg decided these ideas could only be beaten by force and, using his connections with America’s political elite, began to campaign for American intervention in the war. He published an account of his conversations in the book Headquarters Nights.

After the war, he served as the first permanent secretary of the National Research Council in Washington, D.C.. He served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1921-1933. A cargo ship built in the United States during World War II was named SS Vernon L. Kellogg.