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Clarisse Doris Hellman


HELLMAN, CLARISSE DORIS (1910–1973), U.S. historian of science. Hellman was born and raised in New York City. She studied astronomy and mathematics at Vassar College, received an M.A. in the history of science from Radcliffe College in 1931, and her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1943. Her dissertation, The Comet of 1577: Its Place in the History of Astronomy, was published by Columbia University Press in 1944 (rev. ed., AMS Press, 1971). Hellman taught as an adjunct professor of history of science at the Pratt Institute from 1951 to 1966 and also briefly at New York University from 1964 to 1966. From 1966 until her death she was professor of history at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. A specialist in the history of Renaissance science, particularly astronomers and astronomy, Hellman edited and translated Max Caspar's biography Johannes Kepler (1959) and published articles and reviews on Tycho Brahe and Georg Samuel Doerffel, as well as Kepler. She was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. As secretary of the U.S. National Committee of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (1958–60), she served as a delegate to the Ninth International Congress of the History of Science in Barcelona, Spain, in 1959, representing the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council. Her papers are found in the Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Sources:P.E. Hyman and D. Dash Moore (eds.), Jewish Women in America, I (1997), 617–18; Obituary, New York Times (March 29, 1973).

[Harriet Pass Freidenreich (2nd ed.)]

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