Gerald Holton was born in Berlin, Germany in 1922 to Austrian parents, and was raised in Austria, where he attended the Classical High School of Vienna. He studied electrical engineering at the School of Technology at Oxford (now Oxford Brooks University) and received his BA from Wesleyan in 1941 and his first MA in 1942. He then continued at Harvard University, where he earned a second MA (1946) and PhD (1948) in Physics. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1945 and has lectured widely as visiting professor to Leningrad University, University of Rome, Imperial College of London, and the Chinese Academy of Social Science, among others. He was named Mallinckrodt Research Professor of Physics and Research Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.
His field of research is the properties of matter under high pressures. He is also one of the foremost authorities on the life and works of Albert Einstein. He has been author or editor of many books, and was editor-in-chief of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Founding Editor of the journal Deadalus. His interest in teaching led him to start the Harvard Project Physics, where he was co-director. Among his many awards, he was named Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Holton is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, U. S. National Commission for UNESCO, Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences , and Life Honorary Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences.
In the humanities lecture series of Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute, Professor Holton discusses “Science, Cause or Cure of Catastrophe or Crisis.”
Holton, Gerald. Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought: Kepler to Einstien. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1973.
---. Science and Anti-Science. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1993.
---. Einstein, History and Other Passions. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2000.
Galison, Peter, Gerald Holton, and S. S. Schweber. Einstein for the 21st Century: his legacy in science, art, and modern culture. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.
Sonnert, Gerhardt and Gerald Holton. Gender Differences in Science Careers: Project Access Study. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 1995. Reference
Curriculum Vitae for Gerald Holton. 2011. 6 June, 2011. http://www.physics.harvard.edu/holton/holtoncv.htm
Gerald Holton. 2011. 6 June, 2011. http://www.aip.org/history/historymatters/holton.htm
Harvard Physics Faculty: Gerald Holton. 2011. 6 June, 2011. http://www.physics.harvard.edu/people/facpages/holton.html
Notable Alumni. 2011. 6 June, 2011. http://www.wesleyan.edu/about/alumni.html