Robert Pollack (biologist)
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|Alma mater||Columbia College BA in Physics (1961), Brandeis University PhD (1966)|
Dr. Robert Pollack is an American biologist who studies the intersections between science and religion. He currently works at Columbia University, where he serves as the director of the University's Center for the Study of Science and Religion and lectures for its Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. Additionally, he is a professor of religion at the Union Theological Seminary. From 1982 to 1989 he served as Dean of Columbia College. In addition to teaching, Pollack has authored more than one hundred reviews, articles, and opinion pieces on molecular biology, medical ethics and science education.
Pollack grew up in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, where he attended public schools. From there he went on to Columbia College, where he graduated with a major in physics in 1961. He obtained his Ph.D. in biology from Brandeis University. He has conducted research at the Weizmann Institute in Israel and at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, served as an assistant professor of pathology at New York University Medical Center and taught microbiology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 1978 he became a professor of biological sciences at Columbia, ascending to the deanship of Columbia College in 1982.
In 1994 Pollack chose to stop his laboratory work and focus on the interaction between science and other disciplines, most notably religion. He has authored three books on the subject, Signs of Life: the Language and Meanings of DNA (1994), which won the Lionel Trilling Award and has been translated into six languages, The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, meaning and free will in modern science (2000), and The Missing Moment: How the unconscious shapes modern science (2001).
Pollack is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the World Economic Forum. He also serves on the advisory boards of several student and university associations at Columbia and Harvard, as well as a director of several biotechnology companies.
|Dean of Columbia College
1982 – 1989