Monday, December 27, 2021

Prof. Victor Christopher Ferkiss, R.I.P.

Professor Victor Christopher Ferkiss was ahead of his time on observing, understanding, researching and writing about technology and humankind's failures to manage it better. 

In 1981, I took his Georgetown University School of Foreign Service course, "Science, Technology and Politics, earning an "incomplete." Thanks to Prof. Ferkiss's patience with my sloth and torpor as a new newspaper editor distracted by East Tennessee, the final three credits I needed to graduate was ultimately replaced with Prof. Ferkiss's graciously accepting my July 11, 1983 testimony before two U.S. House Science and Technology subcommittees on the impact of the mercury releases in Oak Ridge," just in time to enroll at Memphis State University Law School on August 22, 1983.   

Prof. Victor Ferkiss's wisdom and insight about science, technology and politics influenced my work on technology issues, 1981-date, including the declassification of the largess mercury pollution event in the history of our frail planet.  For that, I was recommended for a Pulitzer Prize by District Attorney General James Nelson Ramsey,

Prof. Ferkiss died in Colorado last year, at age 95.

He helped make me a better person.  He helped make the world a better place. 

Rest in Power, Prof. Ferkiss. 


Dr Victor Ferkiss August 02 1925 August 25 2020

August 02 1925 August 25 2020
Dr. Victor Ferkiss August 02, 1925 – August 25, 2020 Share this obituary Sign Guestbook| Send Sympathy Card Dr. Victor C. Ferkiss, Emeritus Professor of Government at Georgetown University, died peacefully in his sleep on August 25, 2020. Born at home in Richmond Hills, Queens, NYC in 1925, Victor led a remarkable life that took him from battlefields to classrooms around the world. A life that stretched from the Great Depression, to the Red Scare, the Civil Rights movement, the counter-culture & anti-war movements of the 1960s, the rise and fall of global powers, and finally the first global pandemic in 100 years. In 1943, Victor became the first person in his family to graduate high school. He joined the Army when he turned 18 and was called up to duty with the 10th Mountain Division to fight the Germans in the Apennine Mountains in northern Italy where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement during combat. He later served as a psychological warfare officer during the Korean War before retiring from the Army as a Major in 1968. Because of his service, he was able to take advantage of the G.I. Bill to attend college and pursue his academic career. A career that took him to universities, including U.C. Berkeley, Yale, University of Chicago, University of Montana, St. Mary’s College, University of The West Indies in Trinidad, Simon Fraser, BC Canada, Purdue University, and finally Georgetown University where he retired in 1990. Victor was also a field director for Boston University’s International Cooperation Administration Training for Africa Program as well as a Peace Corps consultant in 1961 serving in Ivory Coast. He authored countless articles and several books including a National Book Award finalist in 1971, “Technological Man – the Myth and the Reality.” Victor married his college sweetheart at the University of California, Berkeley, Barbara Jouvenal of Oakland, California. They raised three children, Michael, Deborah, & Ethan… always fostering in his children and grandchildren an appreciation for a global perspective that emphasized social, economic, and environmental justice. Victor taught generations of ambassadors, scholars, political scientists, futurists, and even a U.S. President. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Victor was also apparently an inspiration, according to the FBI, to the Unabomber (see link below). Victor’s mixture of intensity, intelligence, and humor made him a truly unique man – who met challenges, big and small, with grace and selflessness. Never one to seek the spotlight or be consumed by status, Victor rarely talked about his personal challenges or many accomplishments. Instead, through his example, he challenged those around him to work hard, serve others, and, in his own words, to always “carry on.” Victor was laid to rest, with full military honors, at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver CO on August 31, 2020. Click here to read about Victor’s encounter with the FBI and the Unabomber SERVICES Graveside Service Monday, August 31, 2020 11:15 AM Fort Logan National Cemetery 3698 S. Sheridan Blvd Denver, Colorado 80235

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