Crease and Howard Named APS Fellows

By David C. Cassidy

Upon the recommendation of the Forum on History of Physics, the APS Council has named Robert P. Crease and Don Howard Fellows of the American Physical Society.

Robert P. Crease is professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy in the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The fellowship citation reads: “For his extensive historical writings on physics, including The Second Creation; Making Physics: A Biography of Brookhaven National Laboratory, and his completion of Robert Serber’s memoirs and Abraham Pais’ biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer.”

Crease received his bachelor ’s degree at Amherst College and his doctorate at Columbia University, both in philosophy. In addition to his work in philosophy, he has made major scholarly contributions to the history of physics and has been active in physics journalism. He is the historian of Brookhaven National Laboratory, which led to his acclaimed “biography” of the laboratory and his lengthy histories of its ISABELLE project and the National Synchrotron Light Source. He has also written many additional accounts of specific episodes in the history of 20th century physics as well as incisive articles on historical methodology. Among his books not listed in the citation are: The Prism and the Pendulum: The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments in Science; and The Play of Nature: Experimentation as Performance. He helped Robert Serber complete his memoir, Peace and War: Reflections on a Life at the Frontiers of Science. And following the death of Abraham Pais, Crease completed his unfinished biography, J. Robert ppenheimer: A Life. He has been a contributing correspondent for Science and a contributing editor for The Scientist. He also writes the long-running, popular monthly column “Critical Point” for Physics World, and he translates Dutch works into English.

Don Howard is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and director of its Program in History and Philosophy of Science. The fellowship citation reads: “For his ground-breaking studies of the interplay between physics and philosophy of science in the 20th century, especially in connection with the work of Einstein and Bohr, and for organizing conference series and editing book series fostering the dialogue among physicists, philosophers, and historians of science.”

Howard received his bachelor ’s degree in physics from Michigan State University, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Boston University, where he wrote his dissertation under Abner Shimony. He has written extensively on Bohr and the origins of quantum mechanics; on Einstein and the foundations of relativity theory; and on the Bohr-Einstein dialogue on interpretations of quantum mechanics. Among his many published studies are: “Reduction and Emergence in the Physical Sciences: Some Lessons from the Particle Physics and Condensed Matter Debate”; “Point Coincidences and Pointer Coincidences: Einstein on Invariant Structure in Spacetime Theories”; and “Revisiting the Einstein-Bohr Dialogue.” As a co-founder of the group History of the Philosophy of Science and a member of the International Advisory Committee for the series of History of General Relativity conferences, he has been instrumental in bringing together physicists, philosophers and historians. He has also been a contributor to and co-editor of the two series Einstein Studies and History of Science and Philosophy of Science, as well as a contributing editor and translation consultant for The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein.