Jim Beall making himself at home at
the Calhoun Chronicle office about 1960
By Bob Weaver 2023
A backwoods Calhoun "Hog Knob" boy went into the big world to make his mark in physics, astronomy education, public policy, and ironically being recognized for poetry and history, widely published.
James H. Beall, born in 1945, was the son of Judson Harmon Beall
Mary Lenore (Burns) Beall, graduating from Calhoun County High School in the early 1960s.
Beall was known for his endless curiosity in all things great and small, connecting with him about 1960, I loaned him a CB radio when just a few dozen users were in West Virginia, and we had late night chats between Hog Knob and the Village of Hur.
He was well connected with some of his classmates, including David Barrows, son of the editors of the Calhoun Chronicle, Olin and Mary Ann Barrows.
He is currently a member of the faculty at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, and a senior consultant in the Space Sciences Division at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington.
His areas of interest include "Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Observational Astronomy, as well as technology development for space systems. His current research interests include simulations of the interaction of astrophysical jets with the ambient medium through which they propagate, and the observational signatures that arise from such interactions."
Among his credentials, Bachelor of Arts Physics cum laude, U. Colorado, 1972. Master of Sciences, University Maryland., 1975, Doctor of Philosophy, 1979. Astrophysicist, Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt, Maryland., 1975-1978.
Congressional Fellow United States Congress Office Technology Assessment, Washington, 1978-1979.
Project scientist science and analysis division BKD, Rockville, Maryland., 1979-1981. National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council resident research associate Naval Research Laboratory, Washington,1981-1983.
Member of faculty Saint John"s College, 1983. Senior consultant East. O. Hulburt Center Space Research Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, 1983. member science and engineering advisory board High Frontier, Arlington, Virginia, 1991.
Professor space science, computational science, and informatics George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, 1992.
Board directors CPW Technologies, Incorporated., Tucson. Project administrator black oral history project Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, 1981. Moderator Library. of Congress Symposium, 1981.
Director education Environmental Action Committee, Denver, 1971-1972.
Board directors Partridgeberry School, Greenbelt, 1977-1978. Poets-in-the Schools participant Virginia Public Schools, since 1975.Served in United States Air Force, 1963-1967.
National Endowment for Humanities grantee, 1976, 78. National Science Foundation grantee, 1991, 95.
Recipient Teaching Excellence award University Maryland., 1974-1975.
Moderator Library; Director education Environmental Writers Council, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Sigma Pi Sigma. Made first prediction of inverse compton x-ray emission from supernovae, first prediction of detectable infrared and optical emission from accretion disks around black holes, first detection of a ringof x-ray light around the earth's equator.
Beall has been listed as a noteworthy physicist, educator, public policy analyst by Marquis Who's Who.
Member American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, American Astronomical Society, Cosmos.
Regarding Beall's poetry, critics say his work is at first an enigma. What to make of his challenging vision, his unique voice, the round-about syntax, his penchant for unfamiliar diction, his seemingly schizophrenic take on the world. For here is a poet blessed with double vision, a man who sees the world with both brain and heart, who is fully at home in his bicameral mind, scientist and mystic.