This is the NEDM Vandal speaking. I have returned for this very special day.
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Sarton's life and work
George Alfred Leon Sarton was born in Ghent, Belgium on August 31, 1884. His parents were Alfred Sarton and Léonie Van Halmé, his mother died when he was less than a year old. He graduated from the University of Ghent in 1906 and two years later won a gold medal for one of his papers on chemistry. He received his PhD in mathematics at the University of Ghent in 1911. He emigrated to the United States from Belgium due to First World War, and worked there the rest of his life, researching and writing about the history of science.
In 1911, he married Mabel Eleanor Elwes, an English artist. Their daughter Eleanore Marie (known as: May) was born the following year in 1912. Although he and his family emigrated to England after World War I broke out, they immigrated to the United States in 1915, where they would live for the rest of their lives. He worked for the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace and lectured at Harvard University, 1916-18. At Harvard, he became a lecturer in 1920, and a professor of the history of science from 1940 until his retirement in 1951. He was also a research associate of the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 1919 until 1948.
Sarton intended to complete an exhaustive nine-volume history of science; during the preparation of the second volume, he learned Arabic and traveled around the Middle East for part of his research, inspecting original manuscripts of Islamic scientists. By the time of his death, he had completed only the first three volumes (I. From Homer to Omar Khayyam. — II. From Rabbi Ben Ezra to Roger Bacon, pt. 1–2. — III. Science and learning in the fourteenth-century, pt. 1-2. 1927-48.). Sarton had been inspired for his project by his study of Leonardo da Vinci, but he had not reached this period in history before dying.
History of Science Society
In honor of Sarton's achievements, the History of Science Society created the award known as the George Sarton Medal. It is the most prestigious award of the History of Science Society. It has been awarded annually since 1955 to an outstanding historian of science selected from the international scholarly community. The medal honors a scholar for lifetime scholarly achievement. Sarton was the founder of this society and of its journals: Isis and Osiris, which publish articles on science and culture.