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The origins of Eugene Garfield Associates

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My first wife leaves me and coping as a single parent
Eugene Garfield Scientist
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It’s funny how, you know, people think they’re doing you a favour by not, by... loyalty takes you in funny directions. When I met my first wife we were, you know, we were very much in love, she was 7 years older than me, and already... and she was a... very brilliant woman, had almost like a photographic memory, she had been a physics major and decided to go to medical school after she’d gotten her degree in physics. But, when she was out in Berkeley during the war, moved out there, she worked at the Lawrence Radiation Lab and she met the fellow who was her, became her second, her next husband, and Marvin Weinstein, who... we’re, we’re still good friends, but he was the beau, but she hadn’t told me. She didn’t want to tell me about it because she thought, you know, she didn’t want to write me a Dear John letter. She wrote to me almost every day when I was in the army and I still have her letters. And, and Marvin didn’t want to say anything, so when, when I came out there she didn’t say that they, they, you know, cared for each other and we got married, and then after we were married she decided that it was a mistake and she wanted to live with Marvin. So, what happened was she got accepted to medical school. We were... Stefan was born in January, we moved to New York around June or July when he was only 6 months old, and she had another, other children and her 5-year-old son, Michael, was with us and he... at that point, I was his significant parent. I mean, he, he didn’t know any, anybody else but me at that point. And so the two of them were with me in, in this apartment in the Bronx, and she had decided that she was going to go to medical school regardless of what I decided to do, and she was going to live with Marvin, so she made a deal with her mother to send Michael out to live with his grandmother. And I came home one day and she told me he wasn’t there anymore and I could do what I wanted to do about the fact that she was going to leave. So, I, I decided, I don't know, rightly or wrongly, well, you’re not going to take my son with you, you already shipped off Michael who I, who was my, I considered my child, you didn’t even ask me. Of course, with the legal issue she was entitled to do that. And, so I took Stefan with me. So, here I had this baby, 6 months old, I found out what it is to be a single parent in New York, and male. If you’re a woman it’s not so terrible, in those days it wasn’t, anyhow. I had a lot of experience with taking care of kids in those circumstances and the bias against men is incredible. I could not... they would not accept my son in any childcare centre unless any one of the female members of my family refused to take him, okay. So, my sister was not unwilling to say she wouldn’t take him, right, she convinced my mother the same, they wanted, in a sense forced me to leave the kid with them. So, I started working as a cab driver to support a nursemaid and I went to live with my son near Columbia University. I had a, I rented one huge room and this nursemaid was, I forget her name, Nellie I think her name was, she came to take care of Stefan while I went to work, or when I was in school, whatever. And that didn’t work out too long, very long, and then I, I, for while I, I found a... I, I shared an apartment with another... a, a woman who had a child and we shared the cost of a nursemaid, and I could leave the baby there. And, that didn’t last too long. I had some really interesting experiences. It turned it out that she was married to a guy who was a homosexual and I had never had any experience in dealing with people like that before, you know, and everything. So, that lasted for a certain length of time, and then finally what happened was that I... let me see, during that period what did I do? I decided that I would leave Stefan with my sister. He went to live with my sister. And that eventually proved to be somewhat disastrous because her, her husband was a, sort of, almost psychotic, and... so, somehow I managed to get through college, you know, working. I worked, you know, this is... and I oftentimes I get the period before graduating and after, there’s two different periods in which I had to work because later when I left and I’d already been to Johns Hopkins, I came back. I had to do a similar thing, to work and go to school at the same time, when I worked at the, at... when I went to the Library School I had two different jobs, you know, I had a scholarship and I had, and I also had worked in the Hickory, the Old Hickory Bookshop which was a, really a mail order medical history bookstore, and they, the people that ran that sponsor a, a scholarship IC at the, the Medical Library Association.

Eugene Garfield (1925-2017) was an American scientist and publisher. In 1960 Garfield set up the Institute for Scientific Information which produced, among many other things, the Science Citation Index and fulfilled his dream of a multidisciplinary citation index. The impact of this is incalculable: without Garfield’s pioneering work, the field of scientometrics would have a very different landscape, and the study of scholarly communication would be considerably poorer.

Listeners: Henry Small

Henry Small is currently serving part-time as a research scientist at Thomson Reuters. He was formerly the director of research services and chief scientist. He received a joint PhD in chemistry and the history of science from the University of Wisconsin. He began his career as a historian of science at the American Institute of Physics' Center for History and Philosophy of Physics where he served as interim director until joining ISI (now Thomson Reuters) in 1972. He has published over 100 papers and book chapters on topics in citation analysis and the mapping of science. Dr Small is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Honorary Fellow of the National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services, and past president of the International Society for Scientometrics and Infometrics. His current research interests include the use of co-citation contexts to understand the nature of inter-disciplinary versus intra-disciplinary science as revealed by science mapping.

Duration: 7 minutes, 18 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2007

Date story went live: 23 June 2009