Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Gerald Holton
Harvard University


"For his pioneering work in the history of physics, especially on Einstein and relativity. His writing, lecturing, and leadership of major educational projects introduced history of physics to a mass audience."


Gerald Holton is Mallinckrodt Research Professor of Physics and Research Professor of History of Science at Harvard University. He is a member of the American Physical Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; a National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences; and a member of several European learned societies. He served as President of the History of Science Society, Vice President of the International History of Science Society, and on several U.S. National Commissions, including the one on Excellence in Education, and on UNESCO.

His undergraduate degrees came from the City of Oxford School of Technology and from Wesleyan University; his PhD is from Harvard University (1948).

His book publications include Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought: Kepler to Einstein; Science and Anti-Science; The Scientific Imagination; Einstein, History, and Other Passions; Victory and Vexation in Science: Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg and Others; and, with Gerhard Sonnert, two books on the careers of women scientists. He was the founding editor of the quarterly journal Daedalus and of Science, Society and Human Values, and was member of the Editorial Committee of the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein.

His honors include the Sarton Medal of the History of Science Society, the J.D. Bernal Prize of the Society for Social Study of Science, the Andrew Gemant Award of the American Institute of Physics, the Oersted Medal of the A.A.P.T., and selection as the Herbert Spencer Lecturer at Oxford University, and as the Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Selection Committee:

Daniel M. Siegel (Chair), S. Weart, M. Jammer, P. Halpern, C. Westfall

Announcement of 2008 Pais Prize to Gerald Holton