The Wistar Institute joins the Philadelphia scientific community and the world at large in mourning the loss of Ruth Myrtle Patrick, Ph.D., whose pioneering work in the field of water biology raised considerable awareness about the effects of water pollution on the health of the environment.
Patrick was closely associated with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for almost eight decades. She also taught at the University of Pennsylvania for more than 30 years. Her pioneering work in the field of limnology, the study of freshwater rivers and lakes, highlighted the risks posed by water pollution. Patrick founded the limnology department at the Academy in 1947. In 1983, it was renamed the Patrick Center for Environmental Research in her honor. She served on Wistar's Board of Trustees from 1975 through 2008 as a representative of the Academy, and she remained an emeritus member thereafter.
Her research was nationally recognized, helping to promptthe passing of the Clean Water Act in 1972. She served as a scientific advisor to Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan, and in 1997, she received the National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton.
"We are deeply saddened to note the passing of Ruth Patrick, a pioneering scientist, environmental activist, and longstanding friend of The Wistar Institute," said Wistar President and Chief Executive Officer Russel E. Kaufman, M.D. "We join our friends and colleagues at the Academy of Natural Sciences in honoring her memory and in gratitude for the remarkable legacy she has left behind."
Obituaries for Dr. Patrick appeared in several publications today, including the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Washington Post, all of which highlighted her many contributions to the scientific community over the years.