Bob Olby's Passing

With great sadness we have learned of Bob Olby's passing on December 31st, 2020.  Bob was a faculty member in the Pittsburgh HPS Department from 1994 to 1999, when he retired.

Bob was a renowned historian of genetics whose work defined the field for decades.  Beginning with his book, The Origins of Mendelism (1966), Bob's work set an agenda for future historians and broke new ground with original scholarship.  His work on the history of molecular genetics culminated in two major books, The Path to the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA and Francis Crick: Hunter of Life's Secrets. In these and many other publications, Bob displayed a deft mastery of his subject and an exceptional ability to make history claims with clarity and insight.  Bob was a charming and gracious colleague who will be missed deeply.

If you have a remembrance of Bob that you would like to share, please send it to Michael Dietrich at