James Arthur Bennett
It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of Jim Bennett. In the last few years, he had been seriously ill and had reduced his participation in public events. Nevertheless, the sudden worsening of his health was unexpected.
Jim possessed an outstanding knowledge of mathematical scientific instruments from the 16th to the 18th century, which he acquired throughout uninterrupted curatorial practice and which enabled him to write a number of remarkable articles and books. From 1994 to 2012, he was Director of the University of Oxford’s History of Science Museum, and, in 2010, was appointed Professor of the History of Science at the same university. He was also president of the British Society for the History of Science for the years 2000-2001, and president of the Scientific Instrument Commission (SIC) of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science from 1999 to 2002. In 2020, he was awarded the Sarton Medal for the History of Science.
Jim was an old acquaintance of the Museo Galileo, for which he wrote his last work: Catalogue of Surveying and Related Instruments (2022). Besides his professional experience, we will miss his generous and affable character.