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James (Jim) Scott 1942 - 2020

last modified Apr 15, 2020 11:33 AM

Jim was a larger than life personality, who made huge contributions to the field of ferroelectrics.  After studying at Harvard and working at Bell Laboratories, he spent a long stint on the faculty at the University of Colorado, where he integrated ferroelectrics with silicon, co-founded the Symetrix Corporation and paved the way towards the commercial applications that we enjoy today. There followed many years in Australia, where he both occupied high office and maintained his research output.


Jim joined the Department of Earth Sciences in Cambridge in 1999. On reaching the statutory retiring age, the then Head of the Cavendish Peter Littlewood brought him to the Laboratory as a Director of Research. In both Departments, he continued to make major contributions to his core field of ferroelectrics, while returning to multiferroics in Earth Sciences and working on quantum criticality at the Cavendish.  After finally retiring from Cambridge, Jim had yet more very productive years in St. Andrews, before retiring to Cambridge in fading health in early 2020.  Jim’s many achievements include writing the canonical book Ferroelectric Memories (2000) and being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008. Jim had, and will continue to have, a huge following amongst his former students and collaborators around the world, to whom he was both a great mentor and a great friend.

We pass on our condolences to his wife Galya and family.