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Jerome Karle

  • Born: June 18, 1918, New York, New York
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  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0066
Interview Dates: February 26, 1987 and June 15, 1987 and September 9, 1987
Location: Naval Research Laboratory,
Interviewers: James J. Bohning and David K. van Keuren
No. of pages: 94
Minutes: 150

  Abstract of Interview

Joint interview with Isabella L. Karle.

Abstract is unavailable.


1937 B.S., Chemistry and Biology, City College of New York
1938 M.A., Biology, Harvard University
1944 M.S. and Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of Michigan

  Professional Experience

University of Chicago

1943 - 1944 Research Associate, Manhattan Project

University of Michigan

1944 - 1946

Researcher, U.S. Navy Project

United States Naval Research Laboratory

1946 - 1958 Head, Electron Diffraction Section

United States Naval Research Laboratory

1958 - 1958 Head, Diffraction Branch

United States Naval Research Laboratory

1958 - 1968 Head, Laboratory for the Structure of Matter

United States Naval Research Laboratory

1968 Chair of Science and Chief Scientist, Laboratory for the Structure of Matter


1950 First Treasurer, American Crystallographic Association
1959 Research Society of America Award in Pure Science
1961 Elected Fellow- American Physical Society
1968 Navy Distiguished Civilian Service Award
1970 Hillebrand Award of Washington Section of American Chemical Society
1971 Vice President of American Crystallographic Association
1972 President of American Crystallographic Association
1976 Navy Dexter Conrad Association
1976 Elected to National Academy of Sciences
1978 Member of Executive Committee of International Union of Crystallography
1981 President of International Union of Chrystallography
1984 Patterson Award of American Crystallographic Association
1984 D. Humane Letters, Georgetown University
1985 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
1986 Honorary Mermber, International Academy of Science
1986 Honorary Doctorate, University of Maryland
1986 Honorary Doctorate, City University of New York
1986 Golden Plate Award of the Academy of Achievement
1986 Rear Admiral William S. Parsons Award of the Navy League
1986 Townsend Harris Award, Alumni Association of City College of New York
1986 Secretary of Navy Award for Distinguished Achievement in Science
1986 President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service
1986 National Library of Medicine Medal

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

  About the Interviewers

James J. Bohning

James J. Bohning is professor emeritus of chemistry at Wilkes University, where he was a faculty member from 1959 to 1990. He served there as chemistry department chair from 1970 to 1986 and environmental science department chair from 1987 to 1990. Bohning was chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of the History of Chemistry in 1986; he received the division’s Outstanding Paper Award in 1989 and has presented more than forty papers at national meetings of the society. Bohning was on the advisory committee of the society’s National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program from its inception in 1992 through 2001 and is currently a consultant to the committee. He developed the oral history program of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and he was the foundation’s director of oral history from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, Bohning was a science writer for the News Service group of the American Chemical Society. He is currently a visiting research scientist and CESAR Fellow at Lehigh University. In May 2005, he received the Joseph Priestley Service Award from the Susquehanna Valley Section of the American Chemical Society.

David K. van Keuren

David van Keuren earned a Ph.D. in history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982, following a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (1975) and a bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire (1972). His graduate studies were concentrated on scientific thought in Europe and America from the Middle Ages to the present. In 1986 he joined the staff of the Naval Research Laboratory as its historian, documenting the agency’s significant research and development achievements past and present, and contributing to national awareness of the broad impact of military scientific research on civil society. He died in a hit-and-run bicycle accident on March 26, 2004, in southwest Washington.

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