The Religious Studies Program is saddened to hear of the death of Professor Ronald L. Numbers, professor emeritus of medical history and bioethics and history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on July 24, 2023.
An active member of the Religious Studies community during his time at UW-Madison, Professor Numbers taught Relig. St. 331: Science, Medicine and Religion. Some of his notable Religious Studies adjacent publications include the 1976 book Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White, that challenged the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s belief in one of its founders and was widely viewed by the scholarly community as groundbreaking. His other titles include Darwinism Comes to America and The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, which follows the story of antievolutionism in the United States and earned the Albert C. Outler Prize from the American Society of Church History. Among other works, he served as editor of Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion and Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science.
You can read more about Dr. Numbers’s life and his many accomplishments in this post from the Department of Medical History and Bioethics as well as in this obituary posted by his family.