Caryl Haskins (1908-2001)

Caryl Haskins, Courtesy of Carnegie Institution for Science Administrative Archives

Courtesy of Carnegie Institution for Science Administrative Archives

Caryl Parker Haskins was born on August 12, 1908, in Schenectady, New York. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1935. His work spanned many fields, including biophysics and entomology. He was fascinated by ants, and in 1939 he published a popular book titled “Of Ants and Men”, which drew parallels between ant and human societies. After graduating from Yale, he conducted his own studies out of his garage, which later expanded to become Haskins Laboratories, a multidisciplinary research facility. In 1956, Haskins was appointed president of the Carnegie Institution for Science. As president, Haskins was committed to providing private funding for scientific research, letting scientists pursue their own interests. He once said, “It is the gifted unorthodox individual in the laboratory or the study or the walk by the river at twilight who has always brought to us, and must continue to bring us, all the basic resources by which we live". Haskins was called a renaissance man and harbored a passion for learning his entire life; “The man who is too old to learn was probably always too old to learn, ” he said.

--by Galyna Vakulenko (2018) Carnegie Summer Intern in the Rhee Lab

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