Herrmann, Heinz 1911-

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HERRMANN, Heinz 1911-

PERSONAL: Born October 17, 1911, in Vienna, Austria; naturalized U.S. citizen; son of Milan (a bank officer) and Irma (a homemaker) Herrmann; married, May 31, 1947; wife's name Virginia H. (a music teacher and church organist); children: Lisa. Education: Attended Institute of Medical Chemistry, Vienna, Austria, 1932–36; University of Vienna, M.D., 1936.

ADDRESSES: Home—12D Sycamore Dr., Storrs, CT 06268. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Carlsberg Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark, member of Carlsberg Laboratories, 1936–39, Rask-Oerstedt fellow, 1937–39; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, instructor in ophthalmology, 1939–46; Yale University, New Haven, CT, assistant professor of zoology, 1946–49; University of Colorado Medical School (now University of California Health Sciences Center), Denver, associate professor of pediatrics and head of Laboratory of Chemical Embryology, 1949–59; University of Connecticut, Storrs, professor, 1959–79, Maude K. Irving-American Cancer Society Professor of Biology, 1960–80, director of Institute of Cellular Biology, 1964–74. University of Milan, NATO Visiting Professor, 1971. Acta Embryol. Exp. Morph., member of editorial board.

MEMBER: International Society for Cell Biology, International Society of Embryology, National Institute of Health (two study sections), American Society for Cell Biology (member of executive committee, 1961–64), Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine, American Society of Biological Chemists, Tissue Culture Association, Society for the Study of Developmental Biology, American Cancer Society (chair of Panel on Morphogenesis, 1950–55), Connecticut Academy of Sciences, Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, New York Academy of Sciences (fellow).

AWARDS, HONORS: Awards from Phi Kappa Phi, 1971, and Phi Beta Kappa, 1974.


Cell Biology: An Inquiry into the Nature of the Living State, Harper & Row (New York., NY), 1989.

From Biology to Sociopolitics: Conceptual Continuity in Complex Systems, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1998.

Contributor to books, including Form and Strategy in Science, edited by J.R. Gregg and F.T.C. Harris, D. Reidel (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 1964; and The Roots of Modern Biochemistry, edited by H. Kleinkauf, H. von Dohren, and L. Jaenicke, de Gruyter (Berlin, Germany), 1988. Contributor of about 150 articles to scientific journals, including Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Philosophy of Science, and Perspectives in Biology and Medicine.

SIDELIGHTS: Heinz Herrmann once told CA: "I was interested in the mysteries of life since high school, and I followed a career as an experimental biologist. Certain philosophical aspects of living matter and other complex systems intrigued me during most of my life and tempted me to give my thoughts some coherent form. This was the origin of From Biology to Sociopolitics: Conceptual Continuity in Complex Systems.

"My interest in the philosophical basis of biology began during my affiliation with the Johns Hopkins Medical School, 1939–46. At that time experimental work in molecular biology had advanced to a point where a conceptual unification of biological structure and function seemed possible, and I have maintained an interest in this concept since that time. I participated throughout these years in seminars on selected topics in philosophy, conducted by Professor Ludwig Edelstain at the Institute of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. At that time, I also studied intensively the works of Aristotle, in particular his biological writings, and the main works of Alfred North Whitehead dealing with the 'philosophy of organism.' I published short papers at that time in connection with these studies.

"The demands of my experimental work prevented me from continuing writing in this field until after my retirement from the laboratory in 1980. However, I tried to follow as closely as possible the developments in this field, resulting in other publications. After the publication of Cell Biology: An Inquiry into the Nature of the Living State in 1989, I followed an intensive reading program to prepare for From Biology to Sociopolitics, and this provided me with a unique learning experience at this stage of my life."