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Oral history interview with Robert Maddin

  • 2008-Apr-22

Oral history interview with Robert Maddin

  • 2008-Apr-22

Robert Maddin begins the interview by discussing his childhood and education and early work experiences including his time at Brooklyn College, his B.Sc. in metallurgical engineering, his Dr.Eng in metallurgy at Yale University, and his Armed Forces service during World War II. Maddin spent several years teaching at Johns Hopkins University before moving on to the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the head of the metallurgy department. Maddin describes starting up the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter and his shift to the history of science, including his second career at Harvard University's anthropology department.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 47 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

About the Interviewer

Hyungsub Choi is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Seoul National University and was manager of the emerging technologies program at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, directing the Robert W. Gore Materials Innovation project. His training is in the history of science and technology, with specialties in recent developments in the fields of semiconductors, materials science, and nanotechnology. He has received degrees from Seoul National University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Johns Hopkins University. He was a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tokyo, Japan. Choi’s works have appeared in leading professional journals, such as Technology and Culture and Social Studies of Science.  Currently, he is preparing a book examining the history of the semiconductor industry in the United States and Japan.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0576

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • October 20, 1918
  • Hartford, Connecticut, United States
  • March 03, 2019


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1943 Purdue University BSc Metallurgical Engineering
1948 Yale University DEng Metallurgy

Professional Experience

Yale University

  • 1948 to 1949 Postdoctoral Fellow

Johns Hopkins University

  • 1949 to 1955 Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

University of Birmingham

  • 1954 Visiting Professor

University of Pennsylvania

  • 1955 to 1972 Professor, Metallurgy Department
  • 1955 to 1972 Department Chair, Metallurgy Department
  • 1972 to 1983 University Professor

Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter

  • 1965 to 1972 Executive Committee

Harvard University

  • 1983 to 1986 Professor, Anthropology Department
  • 1986 to 1989 Curator, Honorary Curator, Peabody Museum

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PDF — 383 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

3 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads