THE MIT CONNECTION
Arthur Dehon Little
Attended MIT 1881-1884. Studied chemistry; edited the student newspaper, The Tech.
Staff of The Tech
Chairman of Alumni Association Publications Committee, which founded MIT's alumni magazine, Technology Review. First issue January 1899.
Member of MIT Corporation: Term member, 1912-1917 and 1918-1923; Life member, 1923-1935.
President of MIT Alumni Association, 1921-1922.
As a member and chairman of MIT Corporation Visiting Committees for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, he was a strong advocate for advanced training in chemistry and its applications in many areas of industry. He was instrumental in the creation of the Chemical Engineering Practice School, the Research Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, and the Eastman Laboratories. His association with George Eastman proved advantageous in gaining Eastman’s support for MIT.
From the ADL, Inc. Centennial booklet, 1986:
[William H. Walker and Arthur D. Little] worked together to develop a curriculum for Chemical Engineering, the basis for a separate department established at MIT in 1920. The curriculum incorporated the concept of "unit operations," which Dr. Little first propounded in an address to the MIT Visiting Committee in 1916. The "unit operations" concept became the central organizing principle of large-scale chemical processes.
William H. Walker was an instructor in analytical chemistry at MIT in 1900 when he became Little's second partner. He continued for five years until 1905, when MIT opened its Research Laboratory of Applied Chemistry with Dr. Walker, by that time an associate professor, in charge. Walker left the partnership to assume full-time duties at the Institute.
The Arthur Dehon Little Memorial Lectureship was established in 1944 with funds donated by Arthur D. Little, Inc. in memory of its founder. The war made it impossible to inaugurate the lectures until 1946, when Sir Edward V. Appleton, secretary of the Department of Scienctific and Industrial Research, an agency of the British Government, gave the first of the lectures. He lectured on the subject, “Science, Government and Industry.” The broad purpose of the lectureship was to promote interest in and stimulate discussion of the social implications inherent in the development of science, through lectures delivered upon invitation by distinguished contributors to the advancement of science and the arts.
Cover, November 25, 1947
The first nine lectures:
Inaugural Little Memorial Lecture, Science, Government and Industry, Sir Edward V. Appleton, November 19, 1946.
Second Little Memorial Lecture, Physics in the Contemporary World, J. Robert Oppenheimer, November 25, 1947.
Third Little Memorial Lecture, Research on a Single Reaction and its Social effects, Robert E. Wilson, November 23, 1948.
Fourth Little Memorial Lecture, The Unity of the Sciences and the Humanities, Detlev W. Bronk, November 22, 1949.
Fifth Little Memorial Lecture, Social Change and Scientific Progress, William C. Menninger, May 1, 1951.
Sixth Little Memorial Lecture, Science and Democracy, Sir Henry Tizard, November 5, 1951.
Seventh Little Memorial Lecture, Psychology, the Machine, and Society, Leonard Carmichael, November 17, 1953.
Eighth Little Memorial Lecture, Creativity in Science, Charles Allen Thomas, April 12, 1955.
Ninth Little Memorial Lecture. Generation of Greatness: The Idea of a University in an Age of Science, Edwin H. Land, May 22. 1957.