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Morowitz, Harold J.
Oral History interview with Harold J. Morowitz, 2005 March 16.
This interview chronicles Morowitz's scientific career in detail, beginning with his education in physics, his transition from physics to biophysics, to his ongoing attempt to apply thermodynamics and information theory to various biological problems. His description of his transition from physics to biophysics gives a valuable insight of how and why physicists after WWII came to be interested in applying concepts and instruments from physics to biological problems. He illustrates the reciprocal interaction between scientific projects that were pursued in Yales biophysics program (e.g., target theory, the effects of radiation on biological organisms) and the Atomic Energy Commissions promotion of the peaceful use of the atomic energy (e.g., nuclear fallout debate). He also provides perspective on the conceptual and methodological traffic between information theory and biology by describing his scientific research, especially his corroboration with Henry Quastler.
Harold J. Morowitz was born in Poughkeepsie, New York on December 4, 1927. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics at Yale University in 1951. From 1951-1953 he was a physicist at the National Bureau of Standards. Morowitz was on the staff of the National Heart Institute from 1953-1955 before joining the faculty of Yale University in 1955. He joined the faculty of George Mason University in 1988 as a Robinson Professor. From 1993 to 1998, Morowitz directed the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. In 1988 he became Robinson Professor of Biology and Natural Philosophy at George Mason University. He was Editor-in-Chief of Complexity; An International Journal of Complex & Adaptive Systems from 1995-2001.
Morowitz, Harold J.
Quastler, Henry.
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
Yale University. Physics Dept.
Genetic code.
Information theory in biology.
Nuclear energy.
Interviews. aat
Oral histories. aat
Yi, Doogab
American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA