||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2008)
George Sarton (1884–1956) was a Belgian chemist and historian who is considered the founder of the discipline of history of science. He left Belgium because of the First World War and settled in the United States where he spent the rest of his life researching and writing about the history of science. His daughter is the American writer May Sarton.
Sarton's life and work
George Alfred Leon Sarton was born in Ghent, Belgium on August 31, 1884. He graduated from the University of Ghent in 1906 and two years later won a gold medal for one of his papers on chemistry. He received his PhD in mathematics at the University of Ghent in 1911. He married Mabel Eleanor Elwes, an English artist, in 1911 and their daughter Eleanore Marie (known as: May) was born the following year. Although he emigrated to England after World War I broke out, he came to the United States in 1915, where he would live for the rest of his life. He worked for the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace and lectured at Harvard University, 1916-18,  where he became a lecturer in 1920 and then professor of the history of science from 1940 until his retirement in 1951. He was also a research associate of the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 1919 until 1948.
Sarton intended to complete an exhaustive nine volume history of science — which, during the preparation of the second volume, induced him to learn Arabic and travel around the Middle East inspecting original manuscripts of Islamic scientists — but at the time of his death only the first three volumes had been completed. (I. From Homer to Omar Khayyam. — II. From Rabbi Ben Ezra to Roger Bacon, pt. 1-2. — III. Science and learning in the fourteenth -century, pt. 1-2. 1927-48.) The project was inspired by his study of Leonardo da Vinci but the period of Leonardo's life was not reached before the death of Sarton.
After his death (March 22, 1956, Cambridge, Massachusetts) a representative selection of his papers was edited by Dorothy Stimson and published by Harvard University Press in 1962.
History of Science Society
In honor of Sarton's achievements, the History of Science Society created the award known as the George Sarton Medal. It is the most prestigious award of the History of Science Society. It has been awarded annually since 1955 to an outstanding historian of science selected from the international scholarly community. The medal honors a scholar for lifetime scholarly achievement. Sarton was the founder of this society and of the serial publications Isis and Osiris which it publishes.
- Introduction to the History of Science, (I. From Homer to Omar Khayyam. — II. From Rabbi Ben Ezra to Roger Bacon, pt. 1-2. — III. Science and learning in the fourteenth-century, pt. 1-2. 1927-48.) Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.
- A History of Science. Ancient science through the Golden Age of Greece, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1952.
- A History of Science. Hellenistic science and culture in the last three centuries B.C., Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959.
- The Study of the History of Science (German: Das Studium der Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1965.)
Bookplate of George Sarton
- Sarton, George (1924). "The New Humanism". Isis 6 (1): 9–42. JSTOR 223969.
- Sarton, George (1927–48) Introduction to the History of Science (3 v. in 5), Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication no. 376. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, Co.
- George Sarton (1951) "The Incubation of Western Culture in the Middle East: a George C. Keiser Foundation Lecture", March 29, 1950, Washington DC