Sunday, December 30, 2012

Robert E Schofield, Joseph Priestley Scholar Died One year Ago Today

Robert E. Schofield   (June 1, 1923 - December 30, 2011) 
We shall miss Bob and the contributions he has made to the history of science and the fuller understanding of one of the greatest persons of the Enlightenment.

Robert E. Schofield of Montgomery Township, NJ, died one year ago today,  December 30, 2011.  Bob was born on June 1, 1923 in Milford, NE, and went on to live in Denver CO as a youth.  He attended Princeton University on a university scholarship and graduated with an A.B. in Physics in 1944. Immediately upon graduating he was drafted into the Army and entered the 9812 T.S.U. of the U.S. Army, Manhattan District Engineers. He served on inactive duty until 1945, was placed on active duty as a T/S in Oak Ridge TN, as a research assistant on the atomic bomb project, before his honorable discharge in 1946.
Bob returned to school to continue his graduate school in physics and was a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis from 1946 until he was granted his M.S. in Physics in 1948. From there he worked as a research Associate at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (a General Electric Company) in Schenectady, NY from 1948 to 1951. He was a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the History of Science and Learning Department at Harvard University from 1951 until earning a Ph.D. in the History of Science in 1955. Concurrently, he was a Fulbright Fellow at University College, London from 1953 to 1954.
Over the next almost 40 years, Robert continued his teaching in many schools. He was a Department of History Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (1955-1959), Guggenheim Fellow (1959-1960), Associate Professor, History of Science, Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, OH (1960-1964), Professor and Lynn Thorndike Professor, History of Science, Case Western Reserve University (1964-1972), Guggenheim Fellow (1967-1968), member of the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies (1967-1968 and 1974-1975), Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, History of Technology and Science, Department of History, Iowa State University (1979 to 1993) and was Professor Emeritus from 1993 on.
One of his proudest accomplishments was in his teaching of undergraduate and graduate students. With Dr. Melvin Kranzberg, he created the History of Science and Technology Program for graduate and undergraduate studies at Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) in 1961. And, in 1980, with Dr. Richard Lowitt, he created the graduate Ph. D. program in History (Technology and Science and Agriculture) at Iowa State University. During his career as a graduate teacher, he was senior director for at least 12 students who obtained their doctorates in the History of Science and/or Technology, most of whom have continued as publishing and teaching scholars.
Mr. Schofield was a founder of the Midwest Junto for the History of Science (along with Duane H.D. Roller and Robert Siegfried), member of the History of Science Society, Society for the History of Technology, American Society for 18th Century Studies, Academie Internationale d’Historie des Sciences (corresponding), British Society for the History of Science and a Fellow at both the Royal Society of Arts and the American Physical Society.
While at the University of Kansas (1955-1959), Bob along with Dr. Robert Johannsen, started the History Department faculty colloquium, the “Hatchet Club” and with Richard Lowitt’s help started the Iowa State University History Department faculty colloquium, the “Vigilates”.
Author of some 35 papers in history journals such as Isis, Annals of Science, Chymia, Technology and Culture and the Journal of the History of Ideas, he also wrote articles and chapters in books, was author of the biography of Joseph Priestley for the New Dictionary of National Biography (England) and was editor of two books. Robert also wrote The Lunar Society of Birmingham in 1963 for which he won the Pfizer Prize for a History of Science Society book, Mechanism and Materialism (1970), Stephen Hales: Scientist and Philanthropist (with D.G.C. Allan), Man and the Frame of Nature (1989), The Enlightenment of Joseph Priestley 1733-1773 (1997) and The Enlightened Joseph Priestley 1774-1804 (2004), for which he won the Roy G. Neville Prize from the Chemical Heritage Foundation in 2006.
Mr. Schofield also has his nearly complete list of publications in the Schofield Festschrift: Beyond History of Science: Essays in Honor of Robert E. Schofield by Elizabeth Garber, editor (Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 1990, pp. 311-312). He is listed in Who’s Who and Who’s Who in America.
Robert Schofield was predeceased by his wife, Mary Peale Smith whom he married June 20, 1959 and had previously obtained her B.A. from Smith College in 1945 and M.A. from Columbia University in 1956 and his parents Charles E. and Nora May Fullerton Schofield. Surviving are his son Charles Stockton Peale Schofield, Johns Hopkins University and a sister Maxey W. Garrett, Austin TX.

The preceding information was summarized from an Obituary at the Kimble Funeral Home in Princeton, NJ at the time of Bob's death.

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