A NEW ERA IN SCIENCE AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, ST. LOUIS: VIKTOR HAMBURGER’S ZOOLOGY DEPARTMENT IN THE 1940’S

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Abstract

In the early 1940s, the administration of the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington University, St. Louis was firmly in the hands of classical scholars who were not inclined to promote the development of modern research on scientific subjects. Funds supporting research in biology favored the School of Medicine and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Viktor Hamburger arrived at Washington University in 1935. At about the time he became the Acting Chairman of Zoology in 1942, research work in the biological departments began a dramatic surge that has continued to this day. For 65 years under his counsel and leadership, basic biology has thrived at this fine institution. As an early faculty recruit, I recount here a few personal recollections from those formative years.