Evolution professor Jerry Coyne writes:
Punctuated equilibrium (PE) was first proposed in a paper by Niles Eldredge and Steve Gould (“E&G”; reference below) in 1972, the year before entered graduate school. When I entered Harvard in 1973 it was a huge deal, heavily promoted by Gould, a professor in the Museum of Comparative Zoology as a replacement for the view of evolution most people held (“neo-Darwinism). Not a little of the theory’s popularity came from Gould’s nonstop promotion as well as his extraordinary ability to write popular science. ...Gould was also an over-opinionated Jewish Marxist.
But, over time, PE became more than a hypothesis about the relative rate of evolutionary change in fossil lineages. It morphed into a theory of evolutionary process — a theory that was pretty much “non-neo-Darwinian” and also much more controversial. And while the pattern may be right, the processes proposed by E&G are so wrong that I’d call them “definitively falsified”.
Among the general public, Gould's most famous work was a book attacking the measurement of intelligence. The book was trashed by experts, and praised by non-experts. As Wikipedia politely explain:
The book received many positive reviews in the literary and popular press, including many written by scientists, but the reviews in scientific journals were, for the most part, highly critical. Literary reviews praised the book for opposing racism, the concept of general intelligence, and biological determinism. Reviews in scientific journals accused Gould of historical inaccuracy, unclear reasoning, and political bias.Gould is dead. He is still a good example of how a very high status public intellectual can be full of crap.