The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

George Philander

Share on Social Media

Information about George Philander

Profile image of George Philander

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Atmospheric Scientist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
French Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Southwestern United States
Favorite Quote:
Why Not?

Birthplace

Born:
8/25/1942
Birth Location:
Calendon,

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Atmospheric Scientist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
French Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Southwestern United States
Favorite Quote:
Why Not?

Birthplace

Born:
8/25/1942
Birth Location:
Calendon
See how George Philander is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Professor and atmospheric scientist S. George Philander was born on August 25, 1942 in Calendon, Republic of South Africa. His father was the noted Afrikaans poet and the headmaster of the Belgravia High School in Athlone. Philander received his B.S. degree in applied mathematics and physics from the University of Cape Town in 1962. When apartheid laws were sanctioned in South Africa, his family decided to move to New York City. He went on to attend Harvard University and graduated in 1980 with his Ph.D. degree in applied mathematics.

Following graduation, Philander was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the department of meteorology. He then became a research associate in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program at Princeton University, and was promoted in 1978 to senior research oceanographer of the program. Philander held the position for eleven years until he was appointed as a full professor of geosciences and director of the program in atmospheric and oceanic studies at Princeton University in 1990. He served as chair of the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University from 1994 to 2001 and was then named the Knox Taylor Professor of Geosciences at Princeton University in 2005. Throughout his career, Philander has served as a consultant to the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and as a visiting professor at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France. His research on oceanic and meteorological changes have resulted in the publication of over one hundred academic papers, nine chapters in books, and three books on such topics as El Niño, the Southern Oscillation, and global warming. In 2007, he finally returned to South Africa and joined the University of Cape Town as a research professor.

Philander was elected as a Fellow into the American Meteorological Society in 1986, the American Geophysical Union in 1991, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. The University of Cape Town bestowed upon Philander an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree in 2007.

S. George Philander was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2013.

See how George Philander is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George Philander's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George Philander lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George Philander describes his mother's family background, her growing up, and her education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George Philander describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George Philander talks about his father's experience as a teacher in South Africa and his interest in poetry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - George Philander talks about the ethnic groups in South Africa and historical background of South Africa's race relations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - George Philander talks about his likeness to his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - George Philander talks about the institution of Apartheid in South Africa
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - George Philander talks about his brothers, South Africa's education system, and his father's appreciation of America
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George Philander talks about his family, reflects on graduating high school, and describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George Philander talks about leaving South Africa and his father's reaction, and his appreciation for Afrikaans
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George Philander talks about recently being contacted by one of his peers from high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George Philander talks about his academic performance in high school, his teachers, his attitude towards the future, and his preparation for college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George Philander talks about the quality of his high school education and his science courses
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - George Philander talks about his appreciation of Beethoven and Bach and his music teacher's influence
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - George Philander talks about his decision to attend the University of Cape Town in South Africa
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - George Philander talks about his studies at the University of Cape Town
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - George Philander talks about his impression of the U.S. higher education system and his decision to study there
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - George Philander talks about his experience living under Apartheid in South Africa
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George Philander talks about the University of Cape Town's reputation as the "Moscow on the Hill"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George Philander talks about his reaction to Apartheid ending and Nelson Mandela's peaceful political methods
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George Philander talks about his experience at Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George Philander talks about Harvard's reputation and his affinity towards Indian people
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George Philander talks about the importance of encouraging self-confidence in students and the limitations of the South African education system
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George Philander talks about the declining appreciation of science in the U.S.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George Philander talks about his introduction to applied mathematics and his welcoming acceptance into the scientific community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - George Philander talks about the field of atmospheric science
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George Philander talks about the equator and people's fascination with it
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George Philander talks about the issues with communicating science to the public
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George Philander talks about fluid dynamics and the equatorial undercurrent
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George Philander talks about his experience as a post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technoogy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George Philander talks about John von Neumann and his contributions to weather forecasting and computer science
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George Philander talks about how he received his job opportunities and his research
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George Philander talks about meeting his wife and his experience living in England
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - George Philander explains El Nino and La Nina and their role in climate patterns
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George Philander talks about Warren Washington and the progress of weather prediction
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George Philander talks about Nelson Mandela, science development in South Africa, and the themes in the movie, "Invictus"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George Philander talks about the political discourse regarding global warming
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - George Philander talks about why he named his article 'Where are you from? Why are you here? An African Perspective on Global Warming'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - George Philander talks about the geography of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - George Philander talks about science's limitations and natural phenomena
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - George Philander talks about why he became a scientist
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - George Philander talks about his educational outreach efforts in South Africa
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - George Philander reflects on his legacy and life choices
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - George Philander talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - George Philander talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - George Philander talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - George Philander describes his photos