Martin Rudwick Wins the History of Science Society’s Highest Award Martin Rudwick, Professor Emeritus, Cambridge University, is this year¹s recipient of the History of Science Society¹s highest award. The Sarton Medal recognizes a lifetime of exceptional scholarly achievement and is awarded annually to a historian of science selected by the Society from a distinguished international field of nominees.
Martin Rudwick achieved pre-eminence in history of science after a distinguished early career in paleontology. Beginning with Cambridge University, he held a series of distinguished posts in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Israel, France, and the United States. His many publications have made him the most influential historian of the earth sciences in the past fifty years.
In his works, Rudwick has led the way in demonstrating that classification, order, and display cannot be dismissed as trivial aspects of the making of knowledge, but are important ways of understanding the natural world. His best-known book, The Great Devonian Controversy (University of Chicago Press, 1985), is a classic of the field.
Rudwick¹s latest book, Bursting the Limits of Time (University of Chicago Press, 2005) is a major European-wide study of the leading practitioners of natural history in the decades around 1800. Its equally imposing sequel, Worlds Before Adam, is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2008. These books are notable for their sensitive exploration of figures who had been dismissed in histories of secular progress as religious die-hards. Together, they make a compelling case that the development of a historical vision of the earth is as significant a transformation in human thought as those associated with relativity physics or Darwinian evolution.
Martin Rudwick has shaped the way we see some of the most widely discussed episodes in the history of science, and has consistently set standards for analytical rigor, innovation, and depth of research. His writings have been at the forefront of our field for nearly four decades. It is in recognition of his remarkable achievements that the History of Science Society has named him as the 2007 Sarton Medalist.
The History of Science Society is the world¹s largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in historical context. Over 3,000 individual and institutional members across the world support the Society’s mission to foster interest in the history of science and its social and cultural relations.