Catalogue Information - Paul Lawrence Farber Papers

Paul Lawrence Farber (b. 1944) is a prolific and internationally known historian of science who has nurtured the study of scientific discovery from his post at Oregon State University for forty years. Dr. Farber has established himself as a world-class historian of science through his research into the naturalist tradition and evolutionary ethics, his extensive participation in the historical community including a term as President of the History of Science Society, and editor of the Journal of the History of Biology. The Paul Lawrence Farber Papers include correspondence, institutional records, teaching materials, typescripts, and reprints.

7 linear feet, 14 boxes

Content Description

The Paul Lawrence Farber Papers include 7 linear feet of correspondence, institutional records, typescripts, research notes, and reprints.

Biographical Note

Paul Lawrence Farber was born on March 7, 1944 in New York City, New York. In 1961 he entered the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor's of Science in Zoology and a minor in Chemistry. He began work in the Master's in History and Philosophy of Science Department at Indiana University and completed his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Buffon's Concept of Species" 1970. After leaving Indiana, Dr. Farber was offered a position at Oregon State University as an Assistant Professor of the History of Science in the Department of General Science. He accepted and moved to Corvallis, Oregon with his wife, Vreneli Regula Marti. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Farber accepted several visiting positions at the University of Washington, Harvard, and the University of London. During this time, he authored his first book, The Emergence of Ornithology as a Scientific Discipline, 1760-1850, and edited Religion, Science, and Worldview: Essays in Honor of Richard S. Westfall. By 1985, he had been made full Professor and appointed to the Chairmanship of the OSU General Science department.

Farber's background in zoology and active interest in ornithology led him to the study of the naturalist tradition from the early 18th century through the 20th with emphasis on the development of systematic methods for cataloging and analyzing the natural world. He also began research into evolutionary ethics and the results of biological evolution on the shaping of psychology and behavior in humans. This work eventually resulted in the publication of Finding Order in Nature: The Naturalist Tradition from Linnaeus to E.O. Wilson and The Temptations of Evolutionary Ethics.

In addition to his research and administrative duties, Farber took an active role in organizing publications and events for the history of science community, serving as an editor and contributor for several journals including the Journal of the History of Biology and Endeavour. After his retirement from Oregon State University in 2008, he was elected to the vice-presidency of the History of Science Society and served a two year term as President beginning in 2010. Dr. Farber has published more than three dozen books, articles, and reviews and received honors and awards from Oregon State University, the Phi Alpha Phi Honor Society, and the History of Science Society. Today, he continues to study the evolution of scientific thought, now with an emphasis on race-mixing in the United States as a social and scientific phenomenon. In 2011, he published From Scientific Racism to Modern Evolutionary Ideas.

Timeline for Paul Farber

1944 Paul Lawrence Farber is born on March 7 in New York City, New York.
1961 Enters the University of Pittsburgh as a zoology major, minoring in chemistry.
1965 Graduates from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Zoology.
Enters the Master's in History and Philosophy of Science Department at Indiana University.
Takes a position as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University.
1966 Marries Vreneli Regula Marti.
1968 Completes his thesis, "Buffon and Newton's Science," and receives his Master of Arts degree in History and Philosophy from Indiana University.
Begins the doctoral program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University.
1970 Earns his Ph.D. with the completion of his dissertation, "Buffon's Concept of Species."
Accepts a position as Assistant Professor of the History of Science in the Department of General Science at Oregon State University.
1974 In the Summer, acts as Visiting Assistant Professor of History of Biology in the Department of Biomedical History at the School of Medicine, University of Washington.
1975 Takes a position as Research Assistant in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University for Summer 1975.
1976 Receives a promotion to Associate Professor of the History of Science in the Department of General Science at Oregon State University.
Receives the Carter Award for "outstanding and inspirational teaching."
Appointed to the Committee on Undergraduate Education of the History of Science of Society.
Paul and Vreneli Farber's children, Benjamin Sandler and Channah Marti, are born.
1978 Takes a temporary position as Visiting Professor in the Department of History of Science and Technology at the Imperial College in the University of London.
Serves a temporary position as Chercheur Associe at the Centre Alexandre Koyre at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (VI section) in Paris.
Elected member of the Council of the History of Science Society.
1982 Elected Executive Councilor of the West Coast History of Science Society.
Publishes The Emergence of Ornithology as a Scientific Discipline, 1760-1850.
1983 Accepts a temporary position as Visiting Professor in the Department of History at the Northwest Interinstitutional Council on Study Abroad in London for Winter 1983.
Promoted to full professor of History of Science in the Department of General Science, Oregon State University.
1984 Takes a position as Acting Director of the Humanities Development Program at Oregon State University.
Receives the Federal Republic of Germany Friendship Award.
Elected Program Coordinator of the Columbia History of Science Group.
1985 Promoted to Chair of the Department of General Science at Oregon State University.
Elected President of the Columbia History of Science Group.
With Margaret Osler, co-edits the publication Religion, Science, and Worldview: Essays in Honor of Richard S. Westfall.
1986 Becomes member of the Board of Directors of the Columbia History of Science Group.
Appointed to Program and Meetings Committee of the History of Science Society.
1988 Accepts position as Visiting Scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.
Named Bye Fellow of Robinson College at the University of Cambridge.
Elected Member of the Nomination Committee of Section L of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
1991 Takes positions as Chair and Professor of the Department of History and Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University.
1992 Appointed Co-Program Chairman for the 1993 annual meeting of the History of Science Society.
With Michael Mix and Keith King, co-authors Biology: The Network of Life.
1993 Named OSU Distinguished Professor of History of Science.
Appointed Chair of the Committee on Independent Scholars of the History of Science Society.
Named member of the Committee on Research and the Profession of the History of Science Society.
1994 Publishes Finding Order in Nature: The Naturalist Tradition from Linnaeus to E.O. Wilson.
1995 Elected Member of the Council of the History of Science Society.
Named Member of the Nomination Committee of the History of Science Society.
1996 Named 1996-1997 Dibner Lecturer for the History of Science Society.
Serves as the Associate Editor of School Science and Mathematics.
Becomes a member of the Phi Alpha Phi Honor Society
Elected Secretary of Section L of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
1997 Named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
1998 Serves as the Associate Editor of the Journal of the History of Biology.
Receives the Excellence Award from the Oregon State University College of Liberal Arts.
1999 Appointed to the Committee on Honors and Prizes of the History of Science Society.
Named Editor of the education column of the History of Science Society Newsletter.
2000 Elected Secretary of Section L of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Publishes The Temptations of Evolutionary Ethics.
2001 Appointed Chair of the Committee on Honors and Prizes of the History of Science Society.
Accepts a position on the Editorial Board of Endeavour.
2002 Receives the Office Personnel Association "Boss of the Year Award."
Honored with the OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award.
2003 Receives the Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize from the History of Science Society.
Accepts a position on the Advisory Editorial board of Endeavour.
2004 Appointed to the Committee on Publications of the History of Science Society.
2006 Takes position as Editor of the Journal of the History of Biology.
Serves as Editor of the Horning Visiting Scholar Publication Series.
Accepts a position on the Editorial Board of the Museum History Journal.
2007 Elected Member of the Site Selection Committee of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology.
2008 Retires from Oregon State University under the title Emeritus Distinguished Professor.
Elected Vice-President of the History of Science Society.
Elected Member of the Steering Committee of Section L of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
2009 Becomes a member of the Editorial Board of Studies in the History of Theoretical, Experimental and Quantitative Life Sciences.
With Hamilton Cravens, co-edits Race and Science: Scientific Challenges to Racism in Modern America.
2010 Begins a two-year term as President of the History of Science Society.

Books by Paul Farber

  • Farber, Paul Lawrence. The Emergence of Ornithology as a Scientific Discipline, 1760-1850. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co. 1982.
  • Osler, Margaret J. and Farber, Paul Lawrence. Religion, Science, and Worldview: Essays in Honor of Richard S. Westfall. Cambridge, England; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press 1985.
  • Mix, Michael C., Farber, Paul Lawrence, and King, Keith I. Biology: The Network of Life. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers 1992.
  • Farber, Paul Lawrence. Finding Order in Nature: The Naturalist Tradition from Linnaeus to E.O. Wilson. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press 1994.
  • Farber, Paul Lawrence. Discovering Birds: The Emergence of Ornithology as a Scientific Discipline, 1760-1850. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press 1997.
  • Farber, Paul Lawrence. The Temptations of Evolutionary Ethics. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press 1998.
  • Farber, Paul Lawrence and Cravens, Hamilton. Race and Science: Scientific Challenges to Racism in Modern America. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press 2009.
  • Farber, Paul Lawrence. Mixing Races: From Scientific Racism to Modern Evolutionary Ideas. Baltimore, Md: The Johns Hopkins University Press 2011.

Arrangement

The Paul Lawrence Farber Papers are unprocessed.

Other Reference Guides

Restrictions on Access

Permission to examine the Paul Lawrence Farber Papers will be granted to qualified researchers upon completion of an "Application for Use" form, and contingent upon the researcher's agreement to abide by the rules and policies governing collection use. See the Use of Collections page for more information.

Restrictions on Use

A portion of the institutional records accessioned on October 18, 2010 are under embargo until January 1, 2016 unless explicit permission for access is granted by Paul Farber.

Technical Access

Physical quality of materials in the Paul Lawrence Farber Papers ranges from good to very good.

Preferred Citation

Courtesy of the Paul Lawrence Farber Papers, Special Collections, Oregon State University Libraries

Processing Information

Unprocessed collection.

Acquisition Information

One box (.5 linear feet) was accessioned from Paul Farber by OSU Libraries Special Collections on March 1, 2010.

Three boxes (1.5 linear feet) were accessioned from Paul Farber by OSU Libraries Special Collections on March 8, 2010.

Two boxes (1 linear foot) were accessioned from Paul Farber by OSU Libraries Special Collections on October 18, 2010.

Four boxes (2 linear feet) were accessioned from Paul Farber by OSU Libraries Special Collections on November 30, 2010.

Four boxes (2 linear feet) were accessioned from Paul Farber by OSU Libraries Special Collections on December 13, 2010.

Two boxes (1 linear foot) and 469 KB of born digital materials were accessioned from Paul Farber by OSU Libraries Special Collections on August 11, 2011.

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