Jim Pivarski's Academic Geneology

This is a family tree of a sort, but instead of tracing my biological ancestors, I trace my academic ancestors: my advisor, my advisor's advisor, and so on up to my great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great- great-grandadvisor. Unlike biological family trees, each student generally has only one thesis/dissertation advisor, so I don't need to choose which path to follow at every generation (e.g. always-follow-father or always-follow-mother).

Almost all of the real work to produce this geneology was done by SPIRES HEPNames (a collaborative database) and the Chemical Genealogy Database. I used Wikipedia and Stephen L. Morgan's academic geneology to fill in some details.

Jim Pivarski0. Jim Pivarski
(1976- )
2006 Physics Ph.D. Cornell University
Ritchie Patterson1. Ritchie Patterson
1990 Physics Ph.D. Chicago University
  • Measured ε'/ε in neutral kaons
  • Semi-leptonic D decays (D → πlν, Klν, CLEO)
  • Electromagnetic calorimeter for CMS
  • Global design effort for a International Linear Collider detector
Bruce Winstein2. Bruce Winstein
(1943-2011)
1970 Physics Ph.D. California Institute of Technology
Clemens Heusch3. Clemens Heusch
(1932-?)
1959 Physics Ph.D. Technische Universität München
  • Co-discovered the Spin Crisis (proton's spin is not the sum of constituent quarks' spin)
  • and nuclear EMC effect (European Muon Collaboration)
  • Current member of ZEUS, ATLAS, BaBar, and NLC
Heinz Maier-Leibnitz4. Heinz Maier-Leibnitz
(1911-2000)
1935 Physics Ph.D. Universität Göttingen
James Franck5. James Franck
(1882-1964)
1906 Physics Ph.D. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Emil Gabriel Warburg6. Emil Gabriel Warburg
(1846-1931)
1867 Physics Ph.D. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
  • Verified specific heat of monatomic gas (with August Kundt): cp = 5/2 N k
  • Discovered and explained hysterisis in ferromagnetic materials
  • Measured first quantum yield (in 2 HBr → H2 Br2)
  • Confirmed Planck's radiation formula
Heinrich Gustav Magnus7. Heinrich Gustav Magnus
(1802-1870)
1827 Chemistry Ph.D. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
  • Discovered that O2 and CO2 are transported by blood
  • Showed that different gasses have different rates of thermal expansion
  • Discovered the first platinum-ammine compount, periodic acid and its salts, and polymerization of hydrocarbons upon heating
  • Magnus's Rule in electrolysis of mixed salts
Eilhard Mitscherlich8. Eilhard Mitscherlich
(1794-1863)
1814 Oriental Languages Ph.D. University of Göttingen
  • Discovered the Law of Isomorphism (crystal geometries are the product of chemical structure, not geometrically-shaped atoms)
  • Collaborated with Fresnel in double refraction of crystals
  • Developed the Contact Theory (early form of catalysis)
  • Wrote Lehrbuch der Chemie, an important textbook
(Studied to be a doctor to be able to travel to Persia; became interested in chemistry instead)
Friedrich Stromeyer9. Friedrich Stromeyer
(1776-1835)
1800 M.D. University of Göttingen
  • Discovered Cadmium
  • Started first German University chemistry teaching laboratory
(Seems to have had two advisors)
Louis Nicolas Vauquelin10. Louis Nicolas Vauquelin
(1763-1829)
1790 Chemistry M.A. Jardin du Roi, Paris
  • Discovered Chromium, co-discovered Iridium
  • Discovered first amino acid, asparagine (isolated from asparagus)
  • Isolated medically-interesting substances: camphoric acid, quinic acid, cyanic acid
  • Studied action of wine, vinegar, and oils on tin and lead
  • Investigated respiration of insects
Antoine Francois de Fourcroy11. Antoine François de Fourcroy
(1755-1809)
1780 M.D. l'École de Médecine de Paris
  • Important advocate of Lavoisier's views
  • Co-discovered Iridium
  • Co-founded modern chemical nomenclature
  • Investigated chemistry of urea, chlorine; analyzed bone, milk, urinary calculi, and gallstones
No image available12. Jean Baptiste Michel Bucquet
(1746-1780)
1770 M.D. from Paris
  • Collaborated with Lavoisier ("Father of Modern Chemistry"), and, with him, advocated conservation of matter and opposed the phlogiston theory
  • First detailed accounts of plant chemistry
  • Studied opium; discovered morphine
Francois-Guillaume Rouelle13. François-Guillaume Rouelle
(1703-1770)
1725 Apothecary Jardin du Roi, Paris
  • First to distinguish neutral, acid, and basic salts
  • Proposed a theory of distillation
  • Established that the Egyptians used Na2CO3 succinic acid and coal to mummify
No image available14. J. G. Spitzley
(1690?-1750?)
1667? Apothecary from Paris
  • Quiet obscurity
Nicolas Lemery15. Nicolas Lémery
(1645-1715)
1667? Apothecary Université de Caen
  • Classified substances as "animal, vegetable, and mineral," distinguishing chemistry from medicine (iatrochemistry)
  • Published influential textbook on chemistry
  • Adopted an atomic theory assuming that fundamental particles have characteristic shapes
  • Described five principles: mercury (spirit), sulphur (oil), salt, water, and earth
No image available16. Christophe Glaser
(1615-1678)
1640? M.D. Universität Basel
  • An iatrochemist who developed (and supplied) arsenic-based poisons
  • Imprisoned in the Bastille for accessory to the poisoning of the Marchioness de Brinvilliers by Sainte-Croix
  • Eschewed theory, mostly reciting chemical recipes
No image available17. Étienne de Clave?
(?-?)
1620? Jardin du Roi, Paris?
  • An iatrochemist who accepted Paracelus' three principles of mercury, sulfur, and salt, and added phlegm and earth
Johann Friedrich Gmelin10. Johann Friedrich Gmelin
(1748-1804)
1769 M.D. University of Tübingen
  • Apothecary, chemist, botanist, and physician
  • Advocate of the phlogiston theory, against Lavoisier
  • Explored synthesis of metallic alloys, especially of transition metals
  • Wrote many textbooks (pharmacy, mineralogy, poisons, technical chemistry, botany, and the history of chemistry)
No image available11. Philipp Friedrich Gmelin
(1721-1768)
1742 M.D. University of Tübingen
  • Professor of botany and chemistry
  • Studied chemistry of antimony
  • Wrote texts on pancreatic ducts, minearl waters, and botany
Burchard David Mauchart12. Burchard David Mauchart
(1696-1751)
1722 Licence in Medicine University of Tübingen
  • Professor of anatomy and surgery, specialist in ophthalmology (eye diseases)
Elias Rudolph Camerarius13. Elias Rudolph Camerarius, Jr.
(1673-1734)
1691 M.D. University of Tübingen
  • Proposed a new system of physiology
  • Despite skepticism of the work of others, he devoted himself to mysticism and secret arts
  • Opponent of iatrophysics (treatment of disease with physics: electric shocks, etc.)
No image available14. Elias Rudolph Camerarius, Sr.
(1641-1695)
1663 M.D. University of Tübingen
  • Professor of medicine
  • Wrote books on the palpitations of the heart, pleurisy, skull fractures, and the use of medicinal plants
No image available15. ?

I had to comment...

Something struck me about this slice through the history of science: the basic goals of the scientific enterprise have changed with time. We're not studying nature in the same way or for the same reasons as our forebears. The trends seem to go like this:

  1. "We should write treatises and try to articulate and systemize what we know about nature."
  2. "Let's tinker with isolated phenomena and see what happens."
  3. "We must impose rigor and quantification to everything we study."
  4. "If we tease out subtle effects, we can generalize our understanding of nature: we can see what our world would look like if we wern't so large (compared to quarks), so cold (compared to fundamental energy scales), so short-lived (compared to the universe), and so parochial (in our one solar system)."

Our goals and methods are cumulative, rather than exclusive (we still like systemizing, speculative experimentation, and quantitativeness), and these eras don't turn on at sharp dates. But the gradual change does come as a surprise, because it undermines the notion that science is an eternal institution, a part of being human. Every century, science is a new idea, because it's partly a different idea. I don't think we can guess what will become of it in the centuries to come, or if we would even recognize future science as science. (Assuming it continues.)


Jim Pivarski <jpivarski who is at gmail.com> Back to my homepage