William Newton Smith, an analytic philosopher of science, a logician, emeritus fellow of Balliol College and an IUC friend passed away on Saturday, 8 April.
Bill Newton-Smith was a longstanding course director in Philosophy of Science conferences, initiator and editor of the journal International Studies in the Philosophy of Science that is still publishing contributions from IUC programmes. During the 80ies, he played a crucial role in helping discriminated scholars and academics in communist countries to get access to the academic work of their Western colleagues. He did this in Oxford, through the Jan Hus Education Foundation, and at the IUC, securing funds from the George Soros Foundation, together with his colleague Kathy Wilkes. Grants for younger scholars for the IUC enabled many students from the Eastern block to take part in different IUC programmes.
Dr. Newton Smith was a crucial figure in establishing the CEU where he chaired the Executive Committee, which laid down the foundations of the University. Later on, he served as a CEU Trustee between 1995 and 2016. During this period, he also remained close to the IUC and together with Kathy Wilkes, established the Inter-University Foundation to be used to fund participants from former communist countries in Philosophy of Science courses. Later on, when the political and economic situation changed, in 2011 he arranged that the remaining amount from this fund would be used in the memory of his colleague, Kathleen Vaughan Wilkes, by refurbishing one of the classrooms in the IUC building, still unfinished after the war.
During the years 1996 – 1998 and 2011 – 2014, he was a member of the IUC Executive Committee.
Bill Newton-Smith published several books, among them The Structure of Time (1980), The Rationality of Science (1981), Logic (1984), and Modelling the Mind (1990). But besides his work in the field of analytic philosophy, he would be remembered as a good man, working on establishing open societies and doing it all with great spirit.
He will be missed.