Passings: Professor Richard Jarrell was a pillar of the Science & Technology Studies program

Professor Richard Jarrell

Richard Jarrell, a professor of natural science and interim program coordinator of the Science & Technology Studies Program, died suddenly at home on Dec. 28.

Natural Science Professor Richard Jarrell
Richard Jarrell

Professor Jarrell was a passionate teacher and mentor to countless students and alumni. His intellectual curiosity forged an abundance of publications, the envisioning of a new program and many groundbreaking courses.

Prof. Jarrell had long worked on comparative history of science, focusing on scientific and technical education and the role of the state in science. He was the founding editor of the journal Scientia Canadensis and co-founder of the Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association; he co-edited six books on Canadian science, technology and medicine. As an historian of astronomy, he published The Cold Light of Dawn: A History of Canadian Astronomy (University of Toronto, 1988) and numerous journal articles. He completed a six-year stint on the editorial team of the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (Springer, 2007) and was working on a study of Canadian radio astronomy.

Always a leader, in his civic life he was a horticultural designer who was also very active and innovative in helping Markham’s transition to a more high-density, earth-friendly city. In his private life, Prof. Jarrell was a gourmet cook and a wine connoisseur with a weakness for Ontario wines and a music enthusiast with eclectic tastes.

A beloved husband and father, Prof. Jarrell’s family is planning a celebration of his life to take place in February.