O B I T U A R I E S
Geison was expert on medical history
Princeton NJ -- A memorial service for Gerald Geison, a history professor who was well known for his teaching and research on the history of medicine, has been set for 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in the University Chapel. He died July 2 at age 58.
Geison was an especially popular and rigorous teacher, noted Robert Tignor, chair of the history department. His course, "Disease and Doctors in the Modern West," attracted many students each year for more than two decades, and was high on the list of non-science courses taken by Princeton pre-medical students. Geison was scheduled to teach the course again this semester.
"He was, above all, a passionate teacher of the history of science," said his colleague, Professor Angela Creager. "His devotion to his graduate students was legendary. He had a special ability to bring the best out of his students, in part because he knew how to give praise as well as criticism. Possessed of a keen editorial eye, Gerry was an astute reader of the works-in-progress of his students and colleagues. Always approachable and down to earth, he drew students to see science and medicine as human enterprises."
Geison wrote two books, "The Private Science of Louis Pasteur" (1995) and "Michael Foster and the Cambridge School of Physiology: The Scientific Enterprise in Late Victorian Society" (1978), and edited four more. His biography of Pasteur was viewed as an outstanding work of scholarship which penetrated the secrecy that had surrounded much of the legendary scientist's laboratory work. In addition, he wrote about 40 scholarly essays and book reviews and contributed 20 articles to the Dictionary of Scientific Biography.
He received many honors and invitations to lecture on his work. The American Association for the History of Medicine awarded its 1996 William Welch Medal to Geison's book on Pasteur. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, a visiting historical scholar at the National Library of Medicine and a visiting senior Wellcome fellow at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London.
At Princeton, Geison served as director of the Program in History of Science from 1980 to 1986 and was the program's director of graduate studies for many years. He was associate dean of the college from 1977 to 1979, master of the Graduate College from 1982 to 1985, and secretary of the Committee on the Course of Study from 1977 to 1979.
Geison served as a member of the editorial board of the "Journal of the History of Medicine," a contributing editor of "Osiris" and advisory editor of "Isis." He was a member of the History of Science Society and of several society committees. He also served as a referee and consultant for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Physiological Society, and the university presses of California, Cambridge, Harvard, Notre Dame, Oxford and Princeton.
Survivors include his sons, Christopher and Andrew, both of San Francisco, Calif.
S T A F F O B I T U A R I E S
Glenn Pearson, an engineer with the plasma physics lab for 27 years, died Aug. 22 at age 51.
A longtime resident of Hamilton, he graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. In his spare time, he was a ham radio operator.
Survivors include his wife Lauren; three sons, Nathaniel, Jeffrey and Matthew; and a daughter, Rebecca.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church, 66A Atlantic Ave., Columbus, NJ 08022.
July: Nicholas Turitzin, 89 (1959-1982, plasma physics lab).