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Richard M. Burian honored with emeritus status


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 7, 2007 – Richard M. Burian of Blacksburg, professor of philosophy and science and technology studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, was conferred the "professor emeritus" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's quarterly meeting August 27.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1983, Burian was the founding head of the Department of Philosophy and served in that role for seven years. He was a dedicated teacher of both undergraduate and graduate courses and served as the director of the graduate program in Science and Technology Studies. He held several leadership roles in professional organizations, helping found the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology; the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science; and the journal, “Perspectives on Science: Historical, Philosophical, Social.”

Burian received his bachelor’s degree from Reed College and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech embraces the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The college nurtures intellect and spirit, enlightens decision-making, inspires positive change, and improves the quality of life for people of all ages. It is home to the departments of apparel, housing and resource management, communication, educational leadership and policy studies, English, foreign languages and literatures, history; human development, interdisciplinary studies, music, philosophy, political science, ROTC, science and technology in society, sociology, teaching and learning, and theatre arts. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.