October 25, 2014

Arnold M. Clark

Long-time MBL Corporation Member Arnold M. Clark of Woods Hole passed away on Saturday, September 13, 2003. He was 87 years old.

Dr. Clark served the University of Delaware from 1946 to 1981. This was an exciting period during which the school moved from a small-college to a large-university mentality. He helped to establish a graduate program in the Biological Sciences. He guided 20 students to the M.S. and 10 students to the Ph.D. degree.

His research interests were in Radiation Biology, Developmental Genetics, Aging, and Human Heredity. He was in residence at the Oak Ridge and the Brookhaven National Laboratories and the Marine Biological Laboratory of Woods Hole. He participated in an early study of the effects of outer space on mutation rates in a NASA project at Cape Kennedy (1967). He was elected as a Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1960. He worked to increase public concern in the State for damage from ionizing radiation. This helped to establish a Radiation Safety Code for the State of Delaware. He directed a course on “Science and Society” at the Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies (1965).

Dr. Clark initiated a Human Heredity Program at the University. He studied the chromosomal basis of Down Syndrome at the Hospital for the Mentally Retarded. He pushed for the study of medical genetics and genetic counseling at a time before Genetics was taught in medical schools. He was a member of The Genetics Society of America and The American Society of Human Genetics.

His teaching interests were directed largely to the idea of science as a cultural force and to science for the citizen. He initiated courses in Biology for non-majors, and he taught courses in Human Heredity and in Evolution for non-majors. He served with pleasure for 10 years as Faculty Representative to the Athletic Governing Board.

After his retirement he moved to the scientific community of Woods Hole where he concentrated on tennis, fishing, and on library work at the Marine Biological Laboratory. He served as a Volunteer at the Falmouth High School and wrote units on Biology for classroom use. For 10 years he taught courses on “Evolution” and on “Human Heredity and Human Affairs” in the Elderhostel Program. He pursued his interest in science and a liberal education through his writings: “Understanding Science Through Evolution,” “Evolution and Cultural Literacy,” “Seeing Biology,” “Teaching Within the Cracks,” and “Teaching Evolution-One More Time.”

Dr. Clark is survived by his wife Constance (Mitchell) Clark, a son Daniel Clark of Avon, MA, a daughter Jane Tourtellotte of Los Angeles, and by two grandchildren.