NIH Computer Pioneer Pratt Dies
Dr. Arnold "Scotty" Warburton Pratt, first director of the Division of Computer Research and Technology (DCRT, the forerunner of the Center for Information Technology), died at the age of 83 on Jan. 4. He retired from NIH in 1990, after 42 years of distinguished service.
In 1966, he was appointed the first director of DCRT by then NIH director Dr. James Shannon. Pratt's leadership was instrumental in introducing an enduring vision for the application of computer science and technology to NIH programs.
Pratt received many awards over the years, including a Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Superior Service award in 1968, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, N.Y., and a Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award for the Senior Executive Service in 1980.
Upon his retirement from NIH, he remarked, "As fruitful as the past has been, the future promises even more as the ideas and aspirations of computer science are realized in the laboratory and the clinic." His vision of computers becoming an integral part of biomedical research endures at NIH.
Survivors include his wife, Frances S. Pratt, three daughters, Mary H. Grant of Pittsburgh, Susan B. Ahart of Charlotte and Janet S. Oliver of Philadelphia, and five grandchildren.
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