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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 91
days of the late 60’s when faculties and students were in destructive revolt against the system and destroyed many presidents and deans. My parents and their beliefs typify what is essential to our culture and the preserving of man’s greatest attainments.
Although Brooks considered entering the ministry, he liked athletics and science at college, majoring in zoology and taking courses in the classics, English literature, and history. His performance earned him Phi Beta Kappa membership. He was also a marathon runner during his college years, winning prizes and varsity letters.
Upon his graduation, Brooks was helped by an Oberlin professor in obtaining a fellowship in the Biology Department at Princeton University. It is of interest that he not only wished to study science but also philosophy and theology at the seminary in Princeton. Brooks’s reason for this was that he saw the limitations of a single approach. He felt that scientists were too narrowly focused and philosophically naïve, while the ministry was unaware of scientific foundations and of what should be its broader obligations. Not surprisingly, that plan did not materialize due to opposition by both schools. He wrote, “I was unhappy at Princeton and did poorly until I met Dr. Philip Bard and became a physiologist.” In spite of all that, Brooks completed his Ph.D. in biology at Princeton in only three years, in 1931.
Brooks followed Bard from Princeton to Harvard University, where Brooks was a fellow in the laboratory of Walter B. Cannon for two years. There he began his experimental studies on the neural control of the endocrine system, a research field still unknown to most scientists in those days. He went to Johns Hopkins University in 1933 when Bard moved there to become the chairman of the Department of Physiology.
At Johns Hopkins he worked and taught as instructor first, then as associate professor in 1941. In those years