S. Leslie Blatt, Ph.D.
Office: Room 228, BioPhysics Bldg.
Professor Blatt received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1957 and an M.S. and Ph.D. in 1959 and 1965, respectively, from Stanford University. He has been at Clark since 1987, serving as Dean of Graduate Studies and Research for six years, and as a regular faculty member throughout his time here.
Current Research and Teaching
S. Leslie Blatt is an experimental nuclear physicist and a pioneer in the study of high energy gamma radiation from the capture of protons and cluster projectiles by light nuclei. Some of the techniques he has developed for this research are the basis of detector systems in laboratories around the world. In recent years, he has been working with pre-service and in-service teachers on developing methods and materials for making science more accessible to pre-college students.
Dr. Blatt has held a joint appointment in Physics and Education. Courses he helped to create at Clark include Discovering Physics, a "hands-on," laboratory-oriented course for non-science majors developed in collaboration with Clark physicists Harvey Gould and Chris Landee and retired science teacher and demonstration development expert Mauri Gould; Ways of Knowing in the Physical and Natural Sciences, co-developed and co-taught with Marion Guerra, science coordinator at the Goddard School of Science and Technology, a nearby elementary school, and with Sarah Michaels, Clark University Education Department; Science and Society, developed and first taught jointly with James Gee, a former member of the Clark Education Department, and offered again in 2005 (in updated form) as a first-year seminar; and Energy and the Campus, a core course in Environmental Science developed jointly with Chris Hohenemser, physicist and co-founder of the Clark Environmental Science and Policy program. He also created the interdisiplinary course "Seeing the Light: At the Crossroads of Art and Science," which was first offered during the 2005 May Term program in Luxembourg, and was also presented, in revised form, during the 2007 and 2009 May Terms. Seeing the Light will be offered again during the May Term of 2011. Dr. Blatt also regularly taught the Physics Department's popular astronomy courses, Exploring the Universe and The Planets and Space Exploration.
Blatt and his colleagues have been involved in science-teaching workshops with the Worcester Public Schools in the South Quadrant of the city, as well as with the Malden Public Schools and a project for reforming elementary school science in Jamaica. He also has been a co-organizer of the Hiatt Center's faculty/teacher Curriculum Study Teams in the science area, and of the Summer Institutes on Curriculum and Knowing in the Sciences for Worcester area teachers for the past decade. He has been active on state-wide committees for the development of science frameworks and the teacher-education requirements necessary for the implementation of those frameworks.