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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

James Bryant Conant

Photo

Dates

March 26, 1893 – Feburary 11, 1978

Authorized Form of Name

Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978

Biography

Abstract

James Conant was a chemist and President of Harvard University (1933-1953). He was also the first United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany (1955-1957). His research interests included chlorophyll, the biochemistry of oxyhemoglobin, and acid-base chemistry.

Important Dates

March 26, 1893Birth, Boston (Mass.).

1913Obtained AB, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1916Obtained PhD in Chemistry, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1916 – 1978Professor of Chemistry (1916-1929); Emory Professor of Organic Chemistry (1929-1933); President (1933-1953); and Emeritus President (1953-1978), Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1929Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1930 – 1949Member, Board of Science Directors, Rockefeller Institute.

1941 – 1946Chair, National Defense Research Committee.

1946President, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

1947 – 1952Member, General Advisory Committee, United States Atomic Energy Commission.

1950 – 1953Member, National Science Board.

1951 – 1953Member, Science Advisory Committee, United States Office of Defense Mobilization.

1955 – 1957United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, United States Department of State.

Feburary 11, 1978Death, Hanover (N.H.).

Occupation

Organic chemist.

Places

Birth

Boston (Mass.)

Undergraduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Graduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Employment

Cambridge (Mass.)

Death

Hanover (N.H.)

Subjects

Atomic bomb.

Chemistry, Organic.

Science and state.

Relationships

People

Family

Conant, Grace Thayer

Wife.

Conant, James Richards

Son.

Conant, James Scott

Father.

Conant, Jennet Orr

Mother.

Conant, Theodore Richards

Son.

Advisors & Collaborators

Loeb, Robert F. (Robert Frederick), 1895-1973

Both worked at United States Office of Defense Mobilization.

Thomson, G. P. (George Paget), 1892-1975

Thomson reported atomic bomb findings of MAUD committee to Conant and Bush.

Colleagues

Bainbridge, Kenneth T. (Kenneth Tompkins), 1904-1996

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bardeen, John

Both employed at Harvard University.

Beasley, Malcolm

Both employed at Harvard University.

Birch, Francis, 1903-1992

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bloembergen, N.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Branscomb, Lewis M., 1926-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bridgman, P. W. (Percy Williams), 1882-1961

Both employed at Harvard University.

Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969

Both employed at Harvard University.

Brooks, Harvey

Both employed at Harvard University.

Carrier, George F.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Coleman, Sidney, 1937-2007

Both employed at Harvard University.

Dalgarno, A.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Diamond, R. M.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Dryden, Hugh L. (Hugh Latimer), 1898-1965

Both worked at United States Office of Defense Mobilization.

DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994

Both worked at United States Office of Defense Mobilization.

Emmons, H. W. (Howard W.)

Both employed at Harvard University.

Feenberg, Eugene

Both employed at Harvard University.

Fisk, James B. (James Brown), 1910-1981

Both employed at Harvard University.

Fletcher, James Chipman, 1919-1991

Both employed at Harvard University.

Furry, W. H. (Wendell Hinkle), 1907-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Gallagher, Thomas F., 1944-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Gates, S. James

Both employed at Harvard University.

Geller, Margaret J.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Georgi, Howard

Both employed at Harvard University.

Giacconi, Riccardo

Both employed at Harvard University.

Glauber, Roy J., 1925-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Gomer, R. (Robert)

Both employed at Harvard University.

Griggs, David, 1911-1974

Both employed at Harvard University.

Gross, David J. (David Jonathan)

Both employed at Harvard University.

Jackiw, Roman W.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Jaffe, Arthur, 1937-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kastner, Marc A.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kemble, Edwin C. (Edwin Crawford), 1889-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kistiakowsky, George B. (George Bogdan), 1900-1982

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kleppner, Daniel

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kohn, Walter, 1923-2016

Both employed at Harvard University.

Menzel, Donald H. (Donald Howard), 1901-1976

Both employed at Harvard University.

Nier, Alfred O. (Alfred Otto), 1911-1994

Both employed at Harvard University.

Pierce, George Washington, 1872-1956

Both employed at Harvard University.

Pound, Robert V.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Purcell, Edward M.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Both employed at Harvard University.

Rice, Oscar Knefler, 1903-1978

Both employed at Harvard University.

Saunders, Frederick A. (Frederick Albert), 1875-1963

Both employed at Harvard University.

Schwinger, Julian, 1918-1994

Both employed at Harvard University.

Segal, Irving Ezra

Both employed at Harvard University.

Spitzer, Lyman, 1914-1997

Both employed at Harvard University.

Starr, Chauncey

Both employed at Harvard University.

Tinkham, Michael

Both employed at Harvard University.

Ulam, Stanislaw M.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Van Vleck, J. H. (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980

Both employed at Harvard University.

Waterman, Alan Tower, 1892-1967

Both worked at United States Office of Defense Mobilization.

Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000

Both employed at Harvard University.

Zacharias, Jerrold Reinach, 1905-1986

Both worked at United States Office of Defense Mobilization.

Additional

Adams, Roger, 1889-1971

Arnold, Richard Thomas, 1913-

Bartlett, Paul D.

Bok, Bart J. (Bart Jan), 1906-1983

Buck, Paul Herman, 1899-1978

Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974

Carmichael, Leonard, 1898-1973

Clark, W. Mansfield (William Mansfield), 1884-1964

Clarke, Hans Thacher, 1887-1972

Fajans, Kasimir, 1887-1975

Frank, Philipp, 1884-1966

Groueff, Stephane

Hammett, Louis P. (Louis Plack), 1894-1987

Hunt, Frederick V.

Kerst, Donald William, 1911-1993

Loeb, Jacques, 1859-1924

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Rabi, I. I. (Isidor Isaac), 1898-1988

Smyth, Henry De Wolf, 1898-1986

Wilson, Edwin Bidwell, 1879-1964

Institutions

Major Positions

Harvard University

President and Emeritus President.

Harvard University. Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Obtained AB (1913) and PhD in Chemistry (1916). Professor of Chemistry, Emory Professor of Organic Chemistry.

United States. Department of State

United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Association for the Advancement of Science

President.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

National Science Board (U.S.)

Member.

Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research

Member, Board of Science Directors.

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission

Member, General Advisory Committee.

United States. Council of National Defense. National Defense Research Committee

Chair.

United States. Science Advisory Committee

Member.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

James B. Conant papers, 1862-1987 (bulk 1914-1978).

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Subject

Alan Tower Waterman papers, 1918-1967 (bulk 1940-1963).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Associates of Physical Science of Harvard University records, 1937-1941, undated.

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Donald W. Kerst papers, 1937-1959.

University Archives

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Hans Thacher Clarke papers, circa 1903-1973.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Henry De Wolf Smyth papers, 1885-1987.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

I. I. Rabi papers, 1899-1989 (bulk 1945-1968).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

J. Robert Oppenheimer papers, 1921-1980 (bulk 1947-1967).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Jacques Loeb papers, 1889-1924.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Kasimir Fajans papers, 1912-1975.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Leonard Carmichael papers, circa 1917-1973.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Louis Planck Hammett papers, 1921-1986.

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Columbia University

Butler Library, 6th Floor East, New York, NY 10027, USA

MIT Office of the President records of Karl Taylor Compton and James Rhyne Killian, 1930-1959.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

MIT Office of the Vice President records, 1932-1938.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Office of Scientific Research and Development [OSRD], 1939-1950 (bulk 1939-1947).

Office of the National Archives

National Archives and Records Administration

8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408, USA

Oral history interview with Bart Jan Bok, 1978 May 15, 17, 19 and 1978 June 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edwin Bidwell Wilson, 1963 June.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Frederick Vinton Hunt, 1964 December 18 and 1965 January 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Louis Plack Hammett, 1978 May 1 and 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Nicolaas Bloembergen, 1983 June 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Paul Buck, 1977 March 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Paul Doughty Bartlett, 1978 July 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Philipp Frank, 1962 July 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Richard Thomas Arnold, 1994 August 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Vannevar Bush, 1964.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Vannevar Bush, 1964.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Physical Review records, 1940-1947.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

President's Commission on National Goals records, 1959-1961.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Library

Abilene, KS 67410, USA

President's Special Committee to Study the Rubber Situation records, 1942.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

Hyde Park, NY, USA

Roger Adams papers, 1900-1971.

University Archives

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Stephane Groueff papers, 1955-1975.

Mugar Library Special Collections

Boston University

771 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Physics Betatron Project correspondence, 1938-1970.

University Archives

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Vannevar Bush papers, 1901-1974.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Vannevar Bush papers, 1921-1974.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

W. Mansfield Clark papers, 1903-1964.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Published Resources

Author

Education in a divided world : the function of the public schools in our unique society.

Harvard case histories in experimental science [by] James Bryant Conant, general editor [and others]

Modern science and modern man / by James B. Conant.

My several lives; memoirs of a social inventor, by James B. Conant.

On understanding science; an historical approach, by James B. Conant

Robert Boyle's experiments in pneumatics.

Science and common sense.

Scientific principles and moral conduct: the twentieth Arthur Stanley Eddington memorial lecture delivered at Princeton University, 15 November 1966, by James B. Conant.

Summary technical report of Division 14, NDRC / U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director, National Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman, A.L. Loomis, Chief.

Summary technical report of Division 15, NDRC / Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director ; national Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman ; division 15, C.G. Suits, Chief.

Summary technical report of Division 16, NDRC / Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director ; national Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman ; division 16, George R. Harrison, Chief.

Summary technical report of Division 17, NDRC / Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director ; National Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman ; Division 17, George R. Harrison, Chief.

Summary technical report of Division 18, NDRC / U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director, National Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman, Division 18, Clyde Williams, Chief.

Summary technical report of Division 19, NDRC / Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director ; National Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman ; Division 19, H.M. Chadwell, Chief.

Summary technical report of Division 4, NDRC / Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director ; National Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman ; Division 4, Alexander Ellett, Chief.

Summary technical report of Division 6, NDRC / U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director, National Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman, Division 6, John T. Tate, Chief.

Summary technical report of Division 8, NDRC / Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director ; national Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman ; division 8, Ralph A. Connor, Chief.

Summary technical report of NDRC, master subject index / Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director, National Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman.

Summary technical report of the Applied Mathematics Panel, NDRC / U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director, National Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman, Applied Mathematics Panel, Warren Weaver, Chief.

Summary technical report of the Committee on Propagation, NDRC / U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development, Vannevar Bush, Director, National Defense Research Committee, James B. Conant, Chairman, Committee on Propagation, Chas. R. Burrows, Chairman.

The growth of the experimental sciences : an experiment in general education / progress report on the use of case method in teaching the principles of the tactics and strategy of science.

The overthrow of the phlogiston theory; the chemical revolution of 1775-1789.

Subject

James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the Making of the Nuclear Age (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993).

James Bryant Conant: 1893-1978, Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences.

James Bryant Conant: The Making of an Iconoclast Chemist, Bulletin for the History of Chemistry 28 (2003): 84-94.

Over My Dead Body: James Bryant Conant and the Hydrogen Bomb," in Science, Technology, and the Military, ed. Everett Mendelsohn et al. (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic: 1988), 379-430.

Seizing the Contested Terrain of Early Nuclear History: Stimson, Conant, and Their Allies Explain the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, Diplomatic History 17 (1993): 35-72.

The Conant Controversy in Teacher Education (New York: Random House, 1969).