Planetary Science Research Discoveries

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Remembering Edward R. D. Scott

(March 22, 1947 - October 7, 2021)

When our friend and colleague Emeritus Professor Ed Scott died suddenly on October 7, 2021 our collective sadness was felt throughout the meteoritical community. We were fortunate to have worked with Ed on a variety of research and educational projects and, in particular, benefited greatly from his support of our PSRD project. From the beginning Ed understood PSRD's goals of sharing discoveries in planetary science not only with scientific stakeholders but also with a broader audience than would otherwise read about meteorites or solar system evolution. We remember those halcyon days in the offices and hallways of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) when Ed would greet us, eager to discuss new research results and suggest a paper or two for PSRD's review. And more often than not, Ed would write the article to post on the PSRD website. Besides the two of us co-founders, no one else has written as many articles for PSRD as Ed Scott. He knew his students, and students everywhere, would benefit from reading the articles and discussing the issues and results. Ed also encouraged us to share our articles on the Astrophysics Data System, which grew our reach and readership.

Edward Robert Dalton Scott was a superb scientist with deep curiosity about the Solar System and its origin. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge, England (he was born in Heswall, England). While at Cambridge, he focused on mineralogy, crystallography, geochemistry, physics, and materials science. Ed joined HIGP in 1990 (moving there from the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico) and gained Emeritus status in 2016. Throughout his career, Ed did innovative research into the nature and origin of all types of meteorites, from iron meteorites to origins of primitive components in chondritic meteorites, the nature of processes operating in the cloud of gas and dust surrounding the Sun as it was still forming, and the accretion of nebular dust into asteroids and planetesimals. His accomplishments were recognized by receiving the Leonard Medal from the Meteoritical Society, an international organization founded in 1933 to promote the study of extraterrestrial materials and planetary science. The Leonard Medal recognizes outstanding contributions to the science of meteoritics and closely allied fields. Besides this award, Ed was also recognized by having Asteroid 4854 named "Edscott" in 2000 and by having the first natural occurrence of the iron carbide Fe5C2 named after him, edscottite. Ed was also a devoted educator, teaching courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For many years he was Associate Director of the Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium, managing the University Research Internship program, which connects undergraduate students with faculty members on projects in space science and engineering.

Ed was a big thinker who liked complicated problems. He stayed active in scholarship, research, and writing following his retirement from the University of Hawaiʻi as evidenced by his two most recent papers published online within mere days of his death. Not only will we headline Ed's recent papers in an upcoming issue of PSRD, but we will do our best to honor Ed's support for educational outreach and his enthusiasm for planetary science by doing what PSRD does best, sharing the latest research discoveries with you.

Ad Astra, Ed.

Dr. Ed Scott at HIGP, May 2014. Image courtesy of HIGP.
Photo of Dr. Scott, May 2016. Image courtesy of HIGP.

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  — G. Jeffrey Taylor and Linda M. V. Martel

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