William Berryman Scott

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William Berryman Scott
William Berryman Scott.png
Scott c. 1905
Born(1859-02-12)12 February 1859
Died29 March 1947(1947-03-29) (aged 88)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materPrinceton University (1877)
University of Heidelberg (1880)
Known forWhite River Oligocene monographs
AwardsWollaston Medal (1910)
Hayden Memorial Geological Award (1926)
Mary Clark Thompson Medal (1930)
Penrose Medal (1939)
Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal (1940)
Scientific career
InstitutionsPrinceton University
Notable studentsElmer S. Riggs, James W. Gidley
The William Berryman Scott House (1888), designed by A. Page Brown, at 56 Bayard Lane, Princeton, New Jersey in the Princeton Historic District

William Berryman Scott (February 12, 1858 – March 29, 1947) was an American vertebrate paleontologist, authority on mammals, and principal author of the White River Oligocene monographs. He was a professor of geology and paleontology at Princeton University.

Family and education[edit]

Scott was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 12, 1858, the son of Mary Elizabeth Hodge Scott and William McKendree Scott, a Presbyterian minister. He was the youngest of three sons; his brother Hugh Lenox Scott went on to become superintendent of West Point and Army Chief of Staff. Shortly after the family moved to Princeton, New Jersey in 1861, his father died and the family lived with his maternal grandfather who was also a Presbyterian minister and an instructor at the Princeton Theological Seminary.[1][2]

His early education focused on theology, philosophy and the classics in preparation for an expected career as a minister. However, when he entered Princeton University in 1873 at the age of fifteen, he became interested in science, especially geology, psychology, and chemistry.[3] A course he took from the renowned Swiss geologist, Arnold Guyot, was a turning point in his career aspirations. He graduated from Princeton in 1877 and received a Ph.D. from University of Heidelberg in 1880. He married Alice Adeline Post on December 15, 1883.

He was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1886.[4]


Scott served as president of The Geological Society of America in 1925.[5][6]


Scott received numerous professional awards during his long career:[2]



  1. ^ American National Biography 1999
  2. ^ a b Sterling 1997
  3. ^ Simpson 1948
  4. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  5. ^ Fairchild, Herman LeRoy, 1932, The Geological Society of America 1888-1930, a Chapter in Earth Science History: New York, The Geological Society of America, 232 p.
  6. ^ Eckel, Edwin, 1982, GSA Memoir 155, The Geological Society of America — Life History of a Learned Society: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America Memoir 155, 168 p., ISBN 0-8137-1155-X.

External links[edit]