Title: Liberal Studies Educator, Historian and Philosopher of Life Science
Institution: University of Notre Dame
Location: Notre Dame, Indiana, United States
Phillip Reid Sloan, Liberal Arts Educator, Historian and Philosopher of Life Science at the University of Notre Dame, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership.
Dr. Sloan’s primary mentors were his high school English teacher Estelle Tucker at Olympus High School in his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was born on January 27, 1938. In his early scientific training, he is indebted to his organic chemistry professor, James Sugihara at the University of Utah, and his marine biology professors, Carl L. Hubbs and Edward Fager, at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. During this portion of his career, he was an expedition biologist on the Lusiad Expedition as part of the International Indian Ocean Expedition (1963). He also conducted deep-sea research with the U.S. Naval Undersea Laboratory and worked in photosynthesis research with the Food Chain Research Group at Scripps Institution.
In his philosophical training, he was particularly influenced by Richard Popkin at the University of California San Diego. Under the inspiration of these mentors, Dr. Sloan has had a rewarding and full career in life science, philosophy, and integrated liberal education. In 2010, he was honored as a professor emeritus of the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Sloan initially taught in the department of Biomedical History at the University of Washington (1969 TO 74) before moving to the University of Notre Dame in 1974 as an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, Notre Dame’s “Great Books” department. He also taught graduate courses in Notre Dame’s Program in the History and Philosophy of Science. Over the next three decades, he was twice Chair of the PLS (1985 to 1993 and again from 2002 to 2004), Director of the Program in History and Philosophy of Science (1994 to 1997), Director of the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values (1997 to 1999) and Director of the Science, Technology and Values Program (1999 to 2002). He was elevated to full Professorship in 1991.
Dr. Sloan’s work has received numerous awards and accolades throughout the years. In 1994, he was awarded the Medal of Merit from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris for his work in the history of biology. He was made a Fellow in Section L of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1995. In 2004 he received the Presidential Award for University Service from Notre Dame. On his retirement in 2010, the Notre Dame Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values named the Phillip R. Sloan Award for him, which honors each year a graduate student who exemplifies his combined interests in research, teaching and service. In his career, Dr. Sloan has supplemented his work with service in leadership positions to a variety of organizations, including the History of Science Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology, and the Vatican “Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest” program. From 2002 to 2008 he was the second President of the Association for Core Texts and Courses, an organization dedicated to the advancement of general liberal education.
Dr. Sloan’s primary contributions to his specialized academic field include edited collections on the Human Genome Project (Controlling Our Destinies, Notre Dame, 1995), early biophysics in the twentieth century (Creating a Physical Biology: The Three-Man Paper and Early Molecular Biology, Chicago, 2012) and evolutionary studies (Darwin in the Twenty-First Century: Nature, Humanity, God, Notre Dame, 2015). His many articles and chapters have appeared in such journals as Isis, the Journal of the History of Biology, Osiris, and Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. He has also edited the 1837 Hunterian lectures of Richard Owen (Chicago, 2002). Furthermore, Dr. Sloan has served on the editorial boards of Isis, the Journal of the History of Biology, Nineteenth Century Contexts, and Omega: The Indian Journal for the Association for Science and Religion. His current work is on a major project on the development of concepts of life from the early modern period to the twenty-first century.
As public service, Dr. Sloan regularly teaches in the Moreau College Prison Program, administered through Holy Cross College in Notre Dame. Other interests include amateur astronomy, bird watching, piano, and fly fishing. He lives with his spouse, Professor (emerita) Mary Katherine Tillman, in Holy Cross Village in Notre Dame. He has ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Contact Dr. Sloan: