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February 23: The Bronx High School of Science

February 23, 2014
BXSci Logo NewThe Bronx High School of Science was founded on this date in 1938 with Morris Meister as principal. Bronx Science began with four hundred students, all boys (it went co-ed in 1946, the first of New York’s three specialty high schools to do so by more than twenty years), most of them Jews from the Bronx. Today, more than 70 percent of its 3,000 students are of Asian or other minority backgrounds and hail from all five boroughs of New York; 42 percent are young women, and 46 percent are considered economically disadvantaged.The school has graduated eight Nobel Prize winners (seven of them in physics), more than any other high school in the U.S., and six Pulitzer Prize winners. Among its best-known grads are Steven Weinberg, physicist; Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in artificial intelligence; Robert Moog, who developed the Moog synthesizer; Joseph Lelyveld of the New York Times; William Safire, conservative columnist; E.L. Doctorow, novelist; Daniel Libeskind, architect; Marilyn Hacker, poet and writer; Martin Peretz of the New Republic; and Dava Sobel, author of Galileo’s Daughter. After displaying a collection of artifacts from the Holocaust in the school library since the late 1970s, Bronx Science opened its own Holocaust museum and study center in its basement in 2013 on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. “The [1966 transit] strike paralyzed the city for almost two weeks and in most schools attendance plummeted; in some, nobody turned up. . . . At Bronx Science, attendance was normal. We walked, bicycled and hitchhiked to school. We wouldn’t miss it!” —David Politzer (2004 Nobelist)
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