A basic biographical blurb for public appearances:
Kerry V. Magruder is the Curator of the History of Science Collections of the University of Oklahoma Libraries. He has been a faculty member of the OU Department of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine since 2000, and received the John and Drusa Cable Chair of the History of Science in 2011.
He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology and science education from Truman State University in Missouri, and a masters in library science and a doctorate in history of science from OU. His background includes teaching high school chemistry and biology, directing a university planetarium, and teaching university courses in biology, astronomy, geology, science education, and history of science.
Magruder has researched and presented scholarly talks at many academic conferences, universities, and research labs in both America and Europe, the latter including England, Scotland, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Italy. Presentations in America include at the Fermi Lab accelerator in the Chicago area and NASA headquarters in Langley, VA, as well as astronomy/physics programs at New Mexico State, Michigan State, and Florida State, among many venues in the history of science.
Magruder’s published articles deal with the history of geology, astronomy and cosmology, and science and religion. For example, a publication on Jesuit cosmology in the generation after Galileo is “Jesuit Science after Galileo: The Cosmology of Gabriele Beati,” Centaurus 2009, 51: 189-212. Magruder has curated major exhibitions in the history of science at OU, including “Darwin at the Museum” in 2009-2010 and “Galileo’s World” in 2015-2016. His digital projects include Edition Open Sources, the Thomas F. Torrance Oral History Project, Lynx Open Ed, and The Sky Tonight.
A more personal blurb by Robin Roads for the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club:
As a young kid, Kerry marveled at the sight of the Milky Way, which could be seen almost every night in the dark northeastern Missouri skies. He remembers just looking up at the myriad of stars, and sometimes feeling lost in the wonder of it all. He never really thought of himself as an astronomer; the night sky was always a natural part of him, just as natural history was a part of his daytime hours. Years later, when Kerry taught high school science, he started a student Astronomy Club where they emphasized learning the night sky as part of the common heritage of humanity. When Kerry began his pursuit of a professional career in the history of science, it provided him an opportunity to explore the marvelous tales of astronomy in ancient and modern cultures. While completing a doctorate in the history of science, he served as Planetarium Director at a small liberal arts college. He said that when they assembled the mechanical-optical star projector, he realized that the engineers who designed it were like modern day ancient astronomers, as the gears had the circular devices etched on them of the Tychonic system of mathematical astronomy. Look at any star projector and it is a monument to ancient astronomy.
As current Curator of the OU History of Science Collections, Kerry works with old astronomy books, meeting Copernicus, Galileo and Newton almost daily in the vault of the collections, and enjoys giving presentations to universities and astronomy clubs. In his spare time, he enjoys stargazing, through the use of amateur telescopes and naked eye observations. He and his family go to local star parties around Norman, and sometimes attend our club’s annual fall star party, “Okie-Tex,” held near Black Mesa out in the Oklahoma panhandle.
Kerry Magruder, PhD
Curator, History of Science Collections
The John H. and Drusa B. Cable Chair
University of Oklahoma Libraries
Department of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine
University of Oklahoma
401 W. Brooks, BL 521, Norman, OK 73019 USA
kmagruder (at) ou.edu