Gerard Piel

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Gerard Piel
Born March 1, 1915
Woodmere, New York
Died September 5, 2004(2004-09-05) (aged 89)
New York City
Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard University (B.A., History, 1937) [1]
Occupation publisher
Known for Scientific American magazine
Awards Kalinga Prize (1962)
In Praise of Reason (CSI- 1990)

Gerard Piel (1 March 1915 in Woodmere, N.Y. – 5 September 2004) was the publisher of the new Scientific American magazine starting in 1948. He wrote for magazines, including The Nation, and published books on science for the general public. In 1990, Piel was presented with the In Praise of Reason award by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSICOP).[2]


Piel graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts degree in 1937. He was the science editor of Life Magazine from 1939 to 1945. In 1946 and 1947, he worked at the Henry Kaiser Company as assistant to the president. In 1948, in association with two colleagues, he launched a new version of Scientific American, to promote science literacy for the general public in the postwar era. He held a number of honorary degrees and awards, including the UNESCO Kalinga Prize in 1962.[3]



  • The Age of Science: What We Learned in the 20th Century
  • Science in the Cause of Man
  • The Acceleration of History Alfred A. Knopf, 1972, ISBN 0-394-47312-4
  • Only One World: Our Own to Make and to Keep, 1992
  • The World of Rene Dubos: A Collection of His Writings



  1. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang, "Gerard Piel, 89, Who Revived Scientific American Magazine, Dies", The New York Times, obituary, September 07, 2004
  2. ^ Shore, Lys Ann (1990). "Skepticism in the Light of Scientific Literacy". Skeptical Inquirer. 15 (1): 8. 
  3. ^ The Acceleration of History Alfred A. Knopf, 1972, ISBN 0-394-47312-4