Profiles in Operations Research

Volume 147 of the series International Series in Operations Research & Management Science pp 1-29


Patrick Blackett

  • Maurice W. KirbyAffiliated withLancaster University
  • , Jonathan RosenheadAffiliated withLondon School of Economics

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Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett was one of the most distinguished experimental physicists of the twentieth century. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1933 at the early age of 36. His 1948 Nobel Prize was in recognition of his fundamental contribution to knowledge and understanding of cosmic radiation and nuclear physics. Within operational research (OR), Blackett is a towering figure rightly known as the father of the subject, arising from his role in World War II (WWII) as an outstanding practitioner of the nascent discipline and in securing its diffusion throughout Britain’s military command structure. Blackett’s main contributions to military effectiveness were the result of applying the scientific method to the air defense of Great Britain and the anti-U-boat war in the North Atlantic.