“There had been a national movement toward science education, and I benefited very much from that.”

Mary Jo Nye

After the launch of Sputnik in 1957 the new emphasis on science education in the United States helped spark an interest in a young Mary Jo Nye. She talks about an inspiring mentor who taught graduate-school material to her high-school class and discusses how understanding the humanities as well as technology can open up a “spectrum of choices.”

Nye is a professor (retired) at Oregon State University (OSU). She completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University and the University of Wisconsin, and received a Ph.D. in history of science from the University of Wisconsin. She began teaching in 1970 at the University of Oklahoma and in 1991 was named George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the History of Science. In 1994 she was appointed a Thomas Hart and Mary Jones Horning Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History at OSU. Other affiliations include visiting research appointments at the University of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University, the Institute for Advanced Study, Churchill College at the University of Cambridge, and the Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin. Nye received the History of Science Society’s Sarton Medal for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement in 2006.

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