NOTE: Dr. Charles Robert “Bob” Schuster passed away on February 21, following a sudden illness. Bob was a remarkable figure in the modern history of substance abuse research. Nancy Campbell and I had the great privilege of having Bob Schuster as one of the participants in our oral history project on addiction research. Nancy conducted the interview back in 2007, one of the best in the series, which you can read here. Nancy shares, here, this remembrance:
Bob Schuster was a jazz musician and a storyteller, a deeply political person who cared about the effects of drug policy on ordinary and extraordinary people, and a humane and compassionate scientist. As a young person growing up in Camden, New Jersey, his parents’ home was a gathering place for jazz musicians that many referred to as “The 1020 Club.” Playing underage at Philadelphia nightclubs, Bob personally witnessed close associates “just playing around” with heroin whose lives were transformed as they became addicted. He spent his entire career in industry, academia, and government as a behavior analyst who set out to understand the behaviors associated with drug-taking–without moralism, without judgment or condemnation, as public health problems.