The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
Advertisement
The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
Advertisement
Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Economics professor Battalio dies at 66

As a fourth grader, Eric Battalio, Class of 1993, told his teacher and classmates about how his economist father, Raymond Battalio, Texas A&M professor of economics, did experiments with rats.
“(My teacher said,) ‘Your dad’s an economist – that’s silly that your dad would be doing experiments with rats,'” Eric said. “My dad said, ‘Well, gee, we obviously do.'”
Raymond Battalio, a professor at A&M for 35 years, died Dec. 1 of cancer in his home at the age of 66. At his funeral at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Sunday, his friend and colleague John Van Huyck, professor of economics, said Raymond used rats in his economics experiments because he was not only an economist, but a scientist, psychologist and sociologist as well, and that he wanted to integrate concepts from all fields in his research.
“That was Ray’s passion – to make accurate observations,” Van Huyck said. “He was very well known for running clean experiments.”
Van Huyck said Raymond, unlike many other economists, wanted to gather his own data and would do so by studying the data from “token economies,” or groups of human subjects in a controlled environment whose spending habits could be closely monitored with the result of accurate data that could support or refute economic theories.
Van Huyck said Raymond chose to conduct similar experiments with lab rats because, as a scientist, he could change the amount of wealth each rat had, whereas he could not do that with human subjects for ethical reasons.
Eric Battalio said that as a child, he often went to work with his dad and helped him in his labs.
“I also used to run my skateboard through the halls – (people working in the building) used to let me do that,” Eric said. “I guess when your father’s the professor, you integrate a lot of the academic life into your regular life. He was one of the better academics as far as I was concerned.”
John W. Allen, professor of economics, also gave a speech at Raymond’s funeral and said Raymond was dedicated to his students.
“To the end (Raymond was) dedicated to his students, his profession,” Allen said. “He was really a good teacher; one who cared about his students. One who didn’t have office hours because his door was always open.”
Eric said he remembers a cover of Fortune magazine that featured a picture of Raymond and colleague John Kagel with long hair working on an experiment with rats in the late 1970s surrounded by wires in their lab.
“The picture’s impressive because they’re not mad scientists, but they certainly did look like guys with a mission,” Eric said.
Raymond is survived by his wife Nancy and his sons Eric and Robert, who both attended A&M and Joe, who attends Blinn College.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *