Peter J. Taylor

Peter J. Taylor

January 11th, 1955 October 29th, 2019

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Obituary for Peter J. Taylor

Peter J. Taylor, age 64, of Arlington MA died on October 29, 2019. Born in Melbourne Australia, he graduated from Monash University, Australia with a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Biomathematics and Zoology. Peter was co-editor of the Monash student newspaper, Lot’s Wife and was an activist deeply committed to social and environmental justice. This commitment remained integral to his future thinking, scholarship, teaching and daily life. Later Peter was awarded a doctoral scholarship to study at Harvard and in 1985 earned a PhD in Organismic & Evolutionary Biology. During this time at Harvard, he met his future wife, Ann Blum, while she was working in Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. Peter taught at UMASS Boston since 1998 where he was Professor and Director of the Critical & Creative Thinking Graduate Program. His research focused on Critical Thinking about Life Sciences in their Social Context and Educational Innovations. He was a former Fulbright Fellow and his work has been supported by the National Science Foundation. Peter was the author of 6 books, 29 chapters and numerous articles in his field and an international visiting professor across the globe, including positions in Mexico, Austria, Australia and Portugal. His ability to inspire students to think critically is legendary and will be his enduring legacy in addition to his voluminous publications. Peter was noted for his brilliant intellect, but he was also a most gentle and kind man, a wonderful father, husband, brother, son and loyal friend. He was predeceased by his wife Ann Blum and his father John Taylor. He is survived by: his son, Vann Taylor; his fiancé Barbara Mawn; his mother, Evelyn J. Taylor; his brother Andrew Taylor; his sisters Sally Taylor and her partner Frans van den Bossche; and Anne Taylor and her partner Randolph McGrath; his sister-in-law Pamela Blum and her husband Richard Frumess; and brother-in-law Thomas Blum and his wife Nancy Haffner. There will be a celebration of his life at his home for friends and family, as well as a celebration of his professional work hosted by University of Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Peter J. Taylor Memorial Scholarship, Advancement Office, UMASS Boston, 100 Morrisey Boulevard, Boston MA 02125. Peter had big feet, a generous heart, an insatiable curiosity, and a rare mind. He will be sadly missed.

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