$1M Gift to Endow History of Natural Sciences Professorship

$1M Gift to Endow History of Natural Sciences Professorship

Bookmark and Share


The American Institute of Physics' $1 million gift to the College of Arts and Humanities will establish an endowed professorship in the history of natural sciences and support the appointee’s humanistic and scientific research and scholarship. Below, Michael H. Moloney, chief executive officer at AIP, signs the gift with President Wallace D. Loh. At bottom, Philip
The American Institute of Physics' $1 million gift to the College of Arts and Humanities will establish an endowed professorship in the history of natural sciences and support the appointee’s humanistic and scientific research and scholarship. Below, Michael H. Moloney, chief executive officer at AIP, signs the gift with President Wallace D. Loh. At bottom, Philip "Bo" Hammer, senior director of member society engagement at AIP; Peter Wien, professor and interim chair of the history department; Moloney; Bonnie Thornton Dill, professor and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities; and Greg Good, director of the Center for History of Physics at AIP gather to celebrate.
(Photo illustration by John T. Consoli, images by iStock; photos, below, by Thai Nguyen and Jeanette J. Nelson)

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) signed a $1 million pledge to the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) yesterday to help uncover stories of scientific discovery while illuminating complex societal issues that scientists and scholars in the humanities both face.

The gift will establish an endowed professorship in the history of natural sciences and support the appointee’s humanistic and scientific research and scholarship through a partnership with AIP’s Center for History of Physics. Collaborations with AIP staff and member societies will encourage deeper insight into the nature and origin of the physical sciences and their impact on society.

"Bringing the sciences and humanities together is important for telling not only the compelling history of discovery, but also inspiring the next generation of scholars in both fields," said Michael Moloney, chief executive officer of the institute, based in Greater College Park’s Discovery District. "This partnership will help us cultivate a diverse and inclusive community."President Wallace D. Loh and Michael H. Moloney, chief executive officer at AIP

The professorship is an opportunity to apply interdisciplinary approaches to complex global issues, like the renewed debate on nuclear energy, said Peter Wien, professor and interim chair of the history department.

"Both humanists and scientists are rooted in the concerns and debates of contemporary culture," Wien said. "A scientist might measure the impact of nuclear contamination or devise new methods for storing nuclear waste, whereas a historian might critically engage with the history of how nuclear energy was developed or trace how popular opinion about certain kinds of energy have changed over time. When students learn to put these two approaches in conversation with each other, they gain a deeper understanding of the problems that all of humanity is facing today."

Universities nationwide, including Maryland, are exploring new ways for arts and humanities disciplines and the sciences to collaborate with each other; the AIP gift supports efforts by the College of Arts and Humanities to increase interdisciplinary learning opportunities, said Bonnie Thornton Dill, ARHU dean as well as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s committee on the integration of STEM, humanities and arts.Philip

"Cross-disciplinary exchange produces new knowledge and inspires learning and exploration," said Thornton Dill. "History helps us understand the processes and people that have shaped science, and AIP's generosity expands support for research and will enhance learning opportunities for students, preparing them with the diverse competencies and knowledge that employers today seek.”

In addition to collaborating with AIP on conferences and public lectures, the appointee will have access to AIP’s Niels Bohr Library and Archives, as well as the recently acquired Wenner Collection containing nearly 4,000 volumes of rare books and manuscripts documenting discoveries in the physical sciences going back 500 years.

The Wenner Collection is still being catalogued and integrated into the other treasures in the Niels Bohr Library and Archives, but AIP hopes the appointee will contribute to new ways of thinking about the collections. "There are many stories in the history of science that have not been told," said Moloney. "In collaboration with UMD, one challenge is to use these collections to tell the story of discovery in a way that we hope will inspire the next generation of scientists and historians and especially contribute to our goal of greater inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in our field."

A search is under way for a senior scholar to assume the professorship in Fall 2019.

 

This article originally appeared in Maryland Today.

April 25, 2019


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

University of Maryland Launches Quantum Technology Center

NIH Awards $2.8M Grant to Further Dementia Research

Researchers Awarded NIH HEAL Grants to Examine Effects of Fetal Exposure to Opioids, and Improve Patient Retention in Treatment Programs

4D Bioprinting Smart Constructs for the Heart

University of Maryland Research Enterprise Records Highest Ever Annual Total in Research Funding

Advancing Healthcare through Robotics and Machine Learning

UMD Researchers Develop Technique to Advance Cell-Based Systems

Lockheed Martin Awards $3M to Clark School

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts

Connect

social iconsFacebookTwitterLinkedInResearch News RSS Feed
Office of Technology Commercialization
2130 Mitchell Building
7999 Regents Dr.
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Phone: 301-405-3947  |  Fax: 301-314-9502
Email: umdtechtransfer@umd.edu

© Copyright 2013 University of Maryland

Did You Know

UMD's Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility, which simulates weightlessness, is one of only two such facilities in the U.S.