George Sarton

George Sarton (1884–1956), one of the founding fathers of the history of science as an academic discipline, was an alumnus of Ghent University. In 1902 he initially enrolled at Ghent as a student in the humanities, before switching to the natural sciences and mathematics. In this period, he was also heavily engaged in political activities and social struggle. In 1912, one year after obtaining his doctoral degree in physics and mathematics, he established the journal Isis, of which the first volume appeared in 1913. The First World War forced him to leave Ghent, and he eventually settled in the United States, where he established himself as one of the major pioneers of the discipline of history of science.

In 1984, at the centenary of Sarton's birthday, Ghent University decided to establish a Sarton Chair of History of Science, which continues to be awarded annually.

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