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George Prescott Scott  

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Collection Summary

Title George Prescott Scott
Span Dates 1935-1999
Bulk Dates (bulk dates, 1962-1985)
Quantity .4 linear ft.
Printed Material Printed Materials are located in Boxes 1 and 3.
Location     Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries, University of South Dakota.
Summary

 George Prescott Scott was born on September 17, 1921 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  He received his B.S. degree (1943) in Chemistry from the Worchester Polytechnic Institute.  From 1943 -1946, Scott served as a special underwater ordinance officer in the Naval Reserve.  Scott earned his Ph. D. in Organic Chemistry (1949) from the University of Rochester in New York under the director of Dr. D. S. Tarbell.  His doctoral research consisted of an infrared study of colchicine.  Beginning in September 1949, he became an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.  From 1953-1955, he took a leave of absence to serve as a Research Associate at the University of Illinois Rubber Research Program, conducting projects in polymer chemistry under Professor C. S. Marvel.  Scott continued to do research on chemical oscillations and trigger waves in dissipative structures, particularly looking at complex nonlinear dynamic systems in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction and, later in his career, with chaos theory.  Chaos theory states that complex and unpredictable results will occur in certain systems. 

After returning to USD in 1956, Scott was promoted to full Professor.  He served as the elected chair of the Science Division of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1957-1958, and also acted as interim Chemistry Department chair from 1959-1961.  In 1964 Scott became a Fulbright Lecturer at Assuit University in Egypt. For eight years he was the Director of the University Research Participation Programs supported by grants sponsored by the National Science Foundation.    With a keen interest in interdisciplinary studies, Scott became the director of the Honors Program from 1971-1979, writing, producing, and directing several of his own dramatic works.  From the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, Scott coordinated all three of the John H. Lawrence Interdisciplinary Symposiums held in Sioux Falls.  John Lawrence, the brother of Nobel Prize winner for the cyclotron, Ernest, was also an USD alum and a distinguished scientist in his own right.  Lawrence is renowned in medical circles as the “father of nuclear medicine.”  Scott retired in1985 and passed away at the age of 80 on April 14, 2002.  

Scott married M. Louise Hampshire on February 14, 1947 in Rochester. Mrs. Scott was a R.N. and was an Assistant Professor of Nursing at USD. The couple had four daughters (Laurel, Paula, Katherine, and Beverly), and one son (Frederick).

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