Papers of Carl Frederick Abel Pantin, 1899-1967

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The only manuscript material to survive of this distinguished Cambridge zoologist is a small number of drafts for lectures and papers. Only one item is dated, 1964, but all the material relates to themes dealt with in Pantin's Tarner Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1959 (edited by A.W. Pantin and W.H. Thorpe and published by Cambridge University Press, 1968, as The relations between the sciences) and his Ballard Mathews Lectures on 'Science and education' given at University College of North Wales, Bangor in 1963. These themes include Pantin's distinction between the 'restricted' (physical) sciences and the 'unrestricted' (biological) sciences, and his postulate of the 'illative sense' - a term borrowed from J.H. Newman's 'The grammar of assent' - as a factor in scientific research. Pantin drew for illustrative material on various episodes in the history of nineteenth-century biological and geological science.

Administrative / Biographical History

Pantin was born in Blackheath, London and educated at Tonbridge School, 1913-1917. He then served with the Royal Engineers and went up to Christ's College, Cambridge in 1919 to read for the Natural Sciences Tripos. He became Physiologist to the Marine Biological Laboratory, Plymouth in 1922, returning to Cambridge where he had been awarded a Fellowship at Trinity College in 1929. He remained in Cambridge for the rest of his career, becoming Reader in Invertebrates and eventually Professor of Zoology in 1959. He retired in 1966. Pantin had a distinguished research career in zoology, contributing to invertebrate physiology and evolutionary theory.

Pantin was elected FRS in 1937 (Royal Medal 1950, Croonian Lecture 1952).

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment only.

Other Finding Aids

Printed catalogue of the papers of Carl Frederick Abel Pantin (1899-1967) by J. Alton and J. Latham-Jackson, CSAC catalogue no. 88/6/82, 4 pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath

Custodial History

Received in 1980 by the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre from Professor M.J.S. Rudwick. Deposited in Trinity College Library in 1982.