S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Scott, Prof William Berryman (palaeontology)

Born: 12 February 1858, United States.
Died: 29 March 1947, United States.

William B. Scott, American geologist and palaeontologist, obtained the degree Bachelor of Arts (AB) at Princeton University, New Jersey, in 1877 and after further studies at the Royal School of Mines (London) and the University of Cambridge was awarded the degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He was professor of geology and palaeontology at Princeton University from 1884 to his retirement in 1930 at the age of 72. Scott was a very prominent academic figure. He was president of the American Philosophical Society (1918-1925) and the Geological Society of America (1924-1925), received many medals and other awards, and had honorary doctoral degrees conferred upon him by the University of Pennsylvania (1906), Harvard University (1909), University of Oxford (1912), and Princeton University (1930). His books included An introduction to geology (1897, 3rd ed. 1932), A history of land mammals in the Western Hemisphere (1912, later editions to 1937), The theory of evolution, with special reference to the evidence upon which it is founded (1917), and numerous reports, papers and monographs on palaeontological topics and osteology. He was also editor and joint author of the Reports of the Princeton University Expedition to Patagonia (8 vols, 1901-1932).

Scott contributed a report on "Tertiary fossils of Natal, Part 1. Mammalian remains from the coast of Zululand" to the Third and final report of the geological survey of Natal and Zululand (Londonl, 1907, pp. 251-262), by William Anderson*.

List of sources:
Debus, A.G. (ed.) World who's who in science. Chicago: Marquis, 1968.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Royal Society of London. Catalogue of scientific papers [1800-1900]. London: Royal Society, 1867-1925.

Price, R.R.M. Catalogue of publications of the Geological Survey and government publications dealing with earth sciences. Pretoria: Council for Geoscience, 1997.

Who was who, Vol. 4, 3rd ed. London: Adam & Black, 1964.

Compiled by: C. Plug