The Jack Myers Cabin at the Highlights Foundation
In Honor of Jack Myers, “Uncle Jack”
Jack Myers was the senior science editor for Highlights for Children for over 50 years. The Jack Myers Scholarship and his cabin at the Highlights Foundation ensure that his contributions are perpetual.
Of writing for children, Jack said, “My Highlights position is an unusual opportunity to open doors to children interested in science. Most people’s memory of science is a collection of facts–which is boring. I’m trying to give kids the feeling that not all things are known.”
Remembering “Uncle Jack” Myers
In 1985 Jack started teaching at the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop held in Chautauqua, NY. Through his work at the conference and in the editorial office, Jack mentored many science and nature writers with an interest in writing for children. Roger Williamson, a longtime student, then volunteer, at the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop began the Jack Myers fund in 2002 to honor Jack’s work and provide opportunities for emerging science writers. After Jack’s passing in 2006, friends and family helped the fund grow. With Jack’s attention to scientific principles and a belief that even the most complex ideas should be accessible to children, writers who are interested in writing with a science focus and have financial needs are eligible to apply for the Jack Myers Scholarship.
Jack Myers had a distinguished career as a research scientist. In 1939, he was awarded a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship and began work at the Smithsonian Institution. In 1941, he relocated to the University of Texas as an assistant professor of zoology, then expanded his role to professor of botany and zoology. During his years at the University of Texas, he researched photosynthesis, phototropism (the movement of plants toward or away from light), and the functions of algae. His writing and research won national accolades. He was a member of the National Association of Science Writers and elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He received the Darbaker Prize from the Botanical Society of America. In 1998, the American Society of Gravitational and Space Biology awarded Jack their highest honor, the Founder’s Award, for pioneering the use of algae as a food source in the closed environments needed for space exploration.
The Jack Myers Scholarship honors Jack’s work and provides opportunities for emerging science writers.
Jack’s writing is a hallmark of excellence in science for children. Uncle Jack’s presence is still very much a part of our Retreat Center, and his scholarship will continue to aid writers who have the potential to honor his life’s work through writing that engages children in science.