Eva Gabor


The physicist William Taussig Scott, late professor of Nevada University, worked on his biographical monograph on Michael Polanyi for over two decades. The monograph offers a most minute collection of the details of Polanyi's life, as well as discussions of these details as set within a variety of frameworks. The author succeeded in completing his manuscript, which runs to over 1000 pages, but did not live to see its publication. The task of editing and publishing a shortened version of the work was undertaken by Professor Marty Moleski, S.J., of Canisius College, Buffalo, N.Y. This shorter version will be published in the near future.

William Taussig Scott tells us about the great achievements of the physicist, chemist and philosopher Michael Polanyi and the place he came to occupy in the world of the natural and social sciences. Carefully tracing the events of Polanyi's life, Scott records the most important periods of his career before a background of historical and social processes. Even apparently "unimportant" data of Polanyi's life (among others in Hungary) do not escape his attention.

William Taussig Scott also introduces to us members of the Polanyi family, first of all Michael's parents, sisters and brothers, as well as near and remoter relatives.

The reader is afforded a reliable account not only of the scientist, researcher and teacher, but can also find out a lot about the problems that interested him, and can see how consistent he was in upholding the standards of value to which he had committed himself in his early years.

The Michael Polanyi Liberal Philosophical Association pays tribute to the memory of William Taussig Scott by publishing the obituary written by Phil Mullins and Marty Moleski, S.J. and previously printed in Tradition and Discovery, the Polanyi Society Periodical. Last but not least we also publish, in this volume, the table of contents of the biographical monograph on Polanyi written by William Taussig Scott, which is as yet available only in manuscript form, along with the letter written by his widow, Ann Herbert Scott, in which she responds to the condolences made by the Michael Polanyi Liberal Philosophical Association.

Polanyiana Volume 8, Number 12, 1999

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