Donald deB. Beaver, Professor of History of Science, Emeritus

As the importance of science and technology to society surges, public understanding of them seems to drop. Not so, however, among your students, as generations of graduates from throughout the professions have testified to the benefits of having become, at your prodding, more scientifically and technologically literate. Called here in 1971 to launch one of the college’s first interdisciplinary departments, you helped build the model for teaching not only history of science, but the many collaborative fields that have been added to our curriculum since. At the same time, your scholarship has helped open all our eyes to evolutions and revolutions in science. You startled us with the observation a decade ago that ninety percent of all scientists in history were still alive. And you shed light on the significance of the seismic shift from the lone-scientist model of scientific inquiry to that of collaboration, detailing the social and technological factors that have brought it about. Your use of this lens to study changes in how science has been conducted at Williams helped inform the development of our current system, which serves as a model for undergraduate science nationally. The spirit of collaboration infuses also your other love … playing soccer, at which you have been an energetic teammate to students, faculty, staff, and neighbors, even to this day.

I hereby declare you Professor of History of Science, Emeritus, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.

June 5, 2016