Garland E. Allen III (1936–2023) | Science
Distinguished historian of genetics Garland (Gar) Allen spent his summers at the Marine Biological Laboratory from the late 1960s to his passing this year. He was inaugural co-director of the History of Biology Seminars at the MBL and served as an MBL Trustee (1987-1993), MBL Society Member (1986-2022) and MBL Library Committee chair and trustee. This retrospective was written by MBL Fellow and historian of biology Jane Maienschein, who continues to co-direct the MBL History of Biology Seminar today.
Garland (“Gar”) E. Allen III, a leader in the history of genetics and eugenics, died on 10 February at age 86. Gar was at heart an activist, pushing for social justice and promoting inclusion before the concept gained its current urgency. He loved intellectual give-and-take and took pride in the lively philosophical debate generated by the books he authored. A supportive mentor, Gar devoted himself to making vulnerable students feel comfortable in university life.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, on 13 February 1936, Gar received his bachelor’s in English from the University of Louisville in 1957 and a master’s in teaching from Harvard University in 1958. After teaching high school for 4 years, he returned to Harvard, where he studied under Everett Mendelsohn and Ernst Mayr as a member of the first generation of historians of biology. After receiving his PhD in 1966, for which he examined the science and life of Nobel laureate Thomas Hunt Morgan, Gar took a position as a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, where he advanced through the ranks and remained until his retirement in 2017. Read rest of the article here.