John Lewis Heilbron
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of John Lewis Heilbron, professor emeritus of history of science at the University of California, Berkeley. After a brief illness, John passed away on Sunday, November 5, at the age of 89.
A prolific scholar renowned for his work on the history of physics, he authored contributions on the history of science from the early modern age to 20th-century physics, that have left an indelible mark on several generations of students.
A member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, he was awarded the prestigious Sarton Medal in 1993 and the Pfizer Prize, which was awarded to him in 2001 by the History of Science Society for the book The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories (1999). He also received the Koyré Medal (1999) from the Académie internationale d'histoire des sciences, the Wilkins Prize Lectureship (2006) from the Royal Society of London, the Abraham Pais Prize for History of Physics (2006) from the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics, as well as honorary degrees from the University of Bologna (1988) and the University of Pavia (2000). In 2006 he was awarded the Galileo Galilei International Prize for his contribution to the profound methodological renewal and growth of the historiography of science.
His research on science in Italy led him to publish important works on Galvani, Volta, Bianchini, as well as an impressive biography of Galileo in 2010. John recently collaborated with Museo Galileo on the conference on Vincenzo Galilei organized with Villa I Tatti and on the related volume, which is being prepared.