Reference Request

* required
Please succinctly provide us with any information pertinent to your inquiry. If you are writing to us about a research request, provide as much detail as possible about the collections in which you are interested (including collection numbers, box numbers, and folder titles).
(if known)

The Smithsonian Institution Archives is using Constant Contact, a third-party contact management software vendor, to manage contacts and send eNewsletters. Please be advised that Constant Contact's Privacy Statement and Terms and Conditions apply to your use of these services. The Smithsonian Institution Archives has access to your name and email address which is subject to our privacy statement.

Record Unit 9508,  National Museum of Natural History, Senate of Scientists,  Senate of Scientists Interviews, 1975

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: National Museum of Natural History, Senate of Scientists
Title: Senate of Scientists Interviews
Dates: 1975
Quantity: 19 audiotapes (Reference copies). 16 digital .mp3 files (Reference copies).
Collection: Record Unit 9508
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

These interviews of Richard S. Boardman, Martin A. Buzas, W. Donald Duckworth, Clifford Evans, Jr., Gordon D. Gibson, W. Duane Hope, Erle G. Kauffman, Porter M. Kier, and Saul H. Riesenberg by Pamela M. Henson document the formation of the Senate of Scientists and its early activities in the National Museum of Natural History.

Historical Note

In 1963, a Senate of Scientists was formed to represent professional concerns of the scientific research staff of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) at the Smithsonian Institution. Molded on faculty senates in universities, the senate was structured to function as a trouble-shooter and source of collective opinion outside normal administrative channels. The executive arm of the senate is the council which manages the day-to-day activities and consists of a chairman, chairman-elect, secretary, and one councilor elected by each curatorial department. Full membership in the senate is restricted to scientists employed by the NMNH, but associate membership is extended to research associates of the museum and to scientists located in the museum but employed by related agencies, such as the United States Department of Agriculture and United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

When an issue arises that the senate deems is in need of attention, membership is polled for opinions, and the council forwards a report and/or recommendation to the appropriate administrator. Significant issues addressed by the senate include library service, publication policies, off-Mall storage and curatorial facilities, technical assistance, program offices, automated data processing facilities, and funding for systematics research. The senate has fostered lines of communication between Institution administrators and the non-administrative scientific staff. In addition, the senate has served as a stimulus to collegiality within the museum, through its "field guide to curators," seminars, teas, and dinner forums.

Introduction

The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program staff conducts interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

The Senate of Scientists Project was conducted at the suggestion of W. Donald Duckworth and with the support of then-chairman Erle G. Kauffman, to document the role of the Senate in the history of the National Museum of Natural History and the Institution.

Descriptive Entry

In 1975-1976, at the suggestion of W. Donald Duckworth, and with the support of then-chairman Erle G. Kauffman, the Smithsonian historian Pamela M. Henson conducted a series of ten interviews of senate officers about the history of the Senate of Scientists. The interviews document the formation of the Senate, contributions of its leaders, its activities from 1963 to 1976, and they provide an overview of its role in the museum and the Institution. Interviewees were: Richard S. Boardman, Martin A. Buzas, W. Donald Duckworth, Clifford Evans, Jr., Gordon G. Gibson, W. Duane Hope, Erle G. Kauffman, Porter M. Kier, Saul H. Riesenberg, and Clyde F. E. Roper. Boxes 1-10 contain transcripts of the interviews and cassette and digital audio copies of the original reel-to-reel recordings, which are in security storage. The interview consists of approximately 16.5 hours of tape, 563 pages of transcript, 16 digital audio files, and occupies 0.5 cubic feet of shelf space.

The recording of the interview of Richard S. Boardman may not be used without the written permission of Richard S. Boardman, or his heirs or assigns. The Clyde F. E. Roper interview has not been deeded to Smithsonian Institution Archives and cannot be used with the written permission of Clyde F. E. Roper or his heirs or assigns.

The Clyde F. E. Roper interview has not yet been accessioned into the Smithsonian Oral History Collection. Permission to use the draft transcript or recording must be secured from Clyde F. E. Roper or his heirs or assigns.

Use Restriction

Restricted. Contact SIHistory@si.edu, 202-633-5910 for details.

Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9508, National Museum of Natural History, Senate of Scientists, Senate of Scientists Interviews

Container List

Box 1

Transcripts of Interview

Interview 1: 16 May 1975

Box 1 of 1

Porter M. Kier discusses his participation in the formation of the senate, organizational meetings, role of the senate in the museum and Institution, and his relations with the senate as director of the National Museum of Natural History, c. 1960-1975.
Transcript, pp. 1-26, of audio recording, 0.5 hour.

Interview 2: 19 May 1975

Box 1 of 1

Gordon D. Gibson covers events leading to the formation of the senate, organizational meetings, writing of the constitution, role of the senate in the museum and Institution, and his 1963-1964 tenure as chairman, c. 1960-1975.
Transcript, pp. 1-39, of audio recording, 1.0 hours.

Interview 3: 20 May 1975

Box 1 of 1

Saul H. Riesenberg discusses events leading to the formation of the senate, organizational meetings, writing of the constitution, and role of the senate in the museum and Institution, c. 1960-1975.
Transcript, pp. 1-46, of audio recording, 1.5 hours.

Interview 4: 28 May 1975

Box 1 of 1

Clifford Evans, Jr., discusses events leading to the formation of the senate, organizational meetings, role of the senate in the museum and Institution, his 1968-1970 tenure as chairman, senate work on such issues as library services, National Science Foundation/Smithsonian Research Foundation funding for research, trust funds, the Pacific Ocean Biological Survey Program, the 1970 Congressional oversight hearings, and publications policies, as well as efforts to promote communication with administrators and collegiality among the research staff, c. 1960-1975.
Transcript, pp. 1-80, of audio recording, 2.0 hours.

Interview 5: 2 July 1975

Box 1 of 1

W. Duane Hope covers his tenure as chairman in 1973-1974 and as a councilor; concerns over program offices; an off-Mall storage and curatorial facility at Beltsville, Maryland, and a National Center for Systematics; senate actions relating to library services, conservation, and automated data processing; reproduction of the staff directory; and role of the senate in the museum and Institution, c. 1960-1975.
Transcript, pp. 1-54, of audio recording, 1.5 hours.

Interview 6: 9 July 1975

Box 1 of 1

Clyde F. E. Roper Interview.
Audio recording, 1.5 hours.

Interview 7: 25 July 1975

Box 1 of 1

Erle G. Kauffman discusses events leading to the formation of the senate, organizational meetings, goals and organizational structure, role of the senate in the museum and Institution, his tenure as secretary in 1966-1967, chairman-elect in 1973-1974, and chairman in 1974-1975, focusing on such issues as technical assistance, library services, publications policies, automated data processing, program offices, National Science Foundation/Smithsonian Research Foundation funding for research, the 1970 Congressional oversight hearings, plans to establish an off-Mall storage and curatorial facility at Beltsville, Maryland, the Center for Short-Lived Phenomena, Smithsonian Associates, and conservation, c. 1963-1975.
Transcript, pp. 1-105, of audio recording, 3.0 hours.

Interview 8: 26 January 1976

Box 1 of 1

Martin A. Buzas covers his role as vice-chairman in 1968-1970 and chairman in 1970-1971; efforts to foster communication with administrators and collegiality among scientists; senate activities over such issues as National Science Foundation/Smithsonian Research Foundation funding for research, trust funds, publications policies, library services, the 1970 Congressional oversight hearings, program offices, Pacific Ocean Biological Survey Program, Professional Accomplishments Evaluation Committee, plans for an off-Mall storage and curatorial facility at Beltsville, Maryland; and role of the senate in the museum and Institution, c. 1963-1976.
Transcript, pp. 1-70, of audio recording, 1.5 hours.

Interview 9: 9 February 1976

Box 1 of 1

W. Donald Duckworth covers events leading to the formation of the senate; role of the senate in the museum and Institution; his tenure as chairman in 1965-1966 and as secretary in 1971-1972; senate activities relating to such issues as library services, field stations, publications policies, program offices, National Science Foundation/Smithsonian Research Foundation funding for research, the 1970 Congressional oversight hearings, plans for an off-Mall storage and curatorial facility at Beltsville, Maryland, and for a National Center for Systematics, Professional Accomplishments Evaluation Committee, and Office of Development, c. 1960-1976.
Transcript, pp. 1-108, of audio recording, 3.0 hours.

Interview 10: 12 February 1976

Box 1 of 1

Richard S. Boardman discusses events leading to the formation of the senate; organizational structure and membership; organizational meetings; role of the senate in the museum and Institution; his 1964-1965 tenure as chairman; and senate activities on such issues as communication with administrators, library services, field stations, and Smithsonian Associates, c. 1960-1976.
Transcript, pp. 1-35, of audio recording, 1.5 hours.

Audio Recordings of Interview

Interview 1: 16 May 1975

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 0.5 hour
Original Masters: 1 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotape
Reference Copies: 1 audiocassette

Interview 2: 19 May 1975

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 1.0 hours
Original Masters: 1 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotape
Preservation Masters: 2 7" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes; 2 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 1 audiocassette; 2 digital .mp3 files

Interview 3: 20 May 1975

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 1.1 hours
Original Masters: 1 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotape
Preservation Masters: 2 7" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes; 2 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 1 audiocassette; 2 digital .mp3 files

Interview 4: 28 May 1975

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 2.0 hours
Original Masters: 2 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Reference Copies: 2 audiocassettes

Interview 5: 2 July 1975

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 1.5 hours
Original Masters: 2 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Reference Copies: 2 audiocassettes

Interview 6: 9 July 1975

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 1.5 hours
Original Masters: 2 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Reference Copies: 2 audiocassettes

Interview 7: 25 July 1975

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 3.0 hours
Original Masters: 3 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Reference Copies: 3 audiocassettes

Interview 8: 26 January 1976

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 1.5 hours
Original Masters: 2 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Preservation Masters: 3 7" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes; 3 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 2 audiocassettes; 3 digital .mp3 files

Interview 9: 9 February 1976

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 3.0 hours
Original Masters: 3 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Preservation Masters: 6 7" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes; 6 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 3 audiocassettes; 6 digital .mp3 files

Interview 10: 12 February 1976

Box 1 of 1

Total Recording Time: 1.5 hours
Original Masters: 2 5" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes
Preservation Masters: 3 7" reel-to-reel analog audiotapes; 3 digital .wav files
Reference Copies: 2 audiocassettes; 3 digital .mp3 files