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J.P. Scott

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J.P. Scott (December 17, 1909 - March 26, 2000) © BGSU

John Paul Scott was born into an academic family of teachers and professors in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 17 1909. Recognizing early that he was part of a competi-tive social system, John Paul ranked second in his high school graduating class, com-pleted college in three years, and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. There he discovered a fondness for football and athletics as well as academia, graduating with top honors and representing Oxford in running against Cambridge. He attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, where he earned a Ph.D. in Zoology with work in genetics under Sewall Wright.

JP Scott had his first job as Chairman of the Department of Zoology at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Following the Second World War he accepted a research position at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, as part of a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to study the genetics of behavior in dogs. In 1965 he became Regents Professor of Psychology at Bowling Green State University, where he taught graduate students until his retirement. He continued to do research, teach and write after his retirement and stayed active in the community of science.

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J.P. Scott at the Ecology/Ethology Research Station at BGSU. © BGSU

When Scott began to publish his work in animal behavior and behavior genetics, there was almost no place to do this, nor any scientific audience. He therefore helped organize the Animal Behavior Society (see the History of the Animal Behavior Society ), which combined with the British Animal Behaviour Society to publish the Journal of Animal Behaviour. Together with Saul Rosenzweig he also organized the International Society for research on Aggression, and served as president of several professional societies.

His prodigious research output totaled 237 shorter publications and eight books. His first book, Animal Behavior sold widely and was translated into several languages. Later books included Aggression, Social Control and Social Change (with Sally Scott), and The Evolution of Social Systems. He is perhaps best known for his book Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog (with John Fuller), based on twenty years of experimental work.

With deep regret, we report the passing of J.P. Scott on March 26, 2000 in Bowling Green, Ohio - Obituary . A Memorial Symposium in his honor was held on September 30, 2000. A Distinguished Speaker Series in Behavior and Neuroscience is being held annually to commemorate J.P. Scotts academic achievements.