James F. Scott

The international Ferroelectrics community lost one of its most outstanding members with the passing of Professor Jim Scott on 6 April 2020. Jim served as a faculty member of five prestigious universities and received many international awards. His numerous publications have received more than 50,000 citations.

James F. Scott was born in New Jersey, USA, and educated at Harvard (B. A., physics 1963) and Ohio State University (Ph.D., physics 1966). After six years in the Quantum Electronics Research Department at Bell Labs he was appointed professor of physics at Univ. Colorado (Boulder), where he also served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research. He was Dean of Science and Professor of Physics for eight years in Australia (UNSW, Sydney, and RMIT, Melbourne), Professor of Ferroics in the Physics Department at Cambridge University, and since 2015 Professor of Chemistry and Physics at Univ. St. Andrews. His paper “Ferroelectric Memories” in Science (1989) is probably the most cited paper in electronic ceramics with 4000+ citations, and his textbook of the same title has been translated into Japanese and Chinese. He was elected a Fellow of the APS in 1974, and in 1997 won a Humboldt Prize and appointment as the SONY Corp. Chair of Science (Yokohama). He was awarded a Monkasho Prize in 2001 and in 2008 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and recipient of the MRS Medal (Materials Research Society). In 2011 he was elected to the Slovenian Academy of Sciences where earlier he had won the Jozef Stefan Gold Medal. In 2014 he won the Thomson-Reuters Citation Laureate prize, which describes itself as a predictor of Nobel Prizes in Physics, and in 2016 received the UNESCO medal for Contributions to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. His work has been cited 50,000 times in scientific journals, with eight papers each cited more than 1,000 times and a Hirsch h-index of 100.

Additional information about Jim Scott’s life can be found at https://ethw.org/Oral-History:James_F._Scott