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Eugene B. Skolnikoff ’50, SM ’50, PhD ’65

Professor of Political Science, emeritus

Professor of Political Science, emeritus

Eugene B. Skolnikoff ’50, SM ’50, PhD ’65
Professor of Political Science, emeritus

Eugene B. Skolnikoff focused his career on science, public policy, and international affairs. He is an emeritus professor of political science at MIT, former head of that department, and former director of its Center for International Studies. He was a member of the Pounds Panel, appointed by MIT president Howard Johnson in 1969 to examine MIT’s two special defense-oriented research laboratories. Professor Skolnikoff later led a study of MIT’s international posture when the Institute was criticized for its work with Japan. He also chaired the committee that established the annual Killian Lecture and was on the faculty committee that advised on the presidential search that resulted in the appointment of MIT president Charles Vest. Professor Skolnikoff earned three MIT diplomas: Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in electrical engineering and a PhD in political science. He also studied politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Professor Skolnikoff served in the White House science advisor’s office under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Carter. 

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Time as head of the political science department during the Vietnam War era.
  • The Industrial Liaison Program, and strengthening the relationships between industry and MIT.
  • Receiving the Rhodes Scholarship.
  • Testing the first VCR while serving in the US Army.
  • Challenges and experiences as head of the Center for International Studies.
  • Time on Pound’s Panel; advising on MIT’s defense-oriented research laboratories.

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