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John Innes Centre

The Bateson Lecture

The Bateson Lecture is held in honour of the first Director of the John Innes, William Bateson, and was first delivered in 1951. In 1972, it was incorporated into the first John Innes Symposium and since then has become the opening event during this meeting. The John Innes Foundation funds the Bateson Lecture when associated with the Symposium.

Bateson pioneered in Britain the science of genetics and coined the word "genetics". He was very much involved in the controversy that followed the rediscovery of Mendel's papers on plant hybridisation and gathered around him a group of enthusiastic young scientists to tackle the many problems of inheritance in plants.

The John Innes collection of Batesoniana, which is the largest in the world, comprises some 10,000 items. Bateson's voluminous correspondence bears witness to the great influence he had on the development of biological science particularly studies of heredity. He became the first Director of the John Innes in 1910.

History of Bateson Lecturers

  • 1951 Professor Sir Roland Fisher, FRS - "Statistical methods in Genetics"
  • 1953 Professor Julian Huxley, FRS - "Polymorphic variation: a problem in genetical natural history"
  • 1955 Professor S.C. Harland, FRS - "Plant breeding: present position and future perspective"
  • 1957 Professor J.B.S. Haldane, FRS- "The theory of evolution before and after Bateson"
  • 1959 Professor Kenneth Mather, FRS - "Genetics Pure and Applied"
  • 1972 1st John Innes Symposium, Professor William Hayes, FRS - "Molecular genetics in retrospect"
  • 1974 2nd John Innes Symposium, Professor G. Pontecorvo, FRS - "Alternatives to sex: genetics by means of somatic cells"
  • 1976 3rd John Innes Symposium, Professor M.F. Perutz, FRS - "Mechanism of respiratory haemoglobin"
  • 1979 4th John Innes Symposium, Professor J. Heslop-Harrison, FRS - "The forgotten generation: some thoughts on the genetics and physiology of Angiosperm Gametophytes "
  • 1982 5th John Innes Symposium, Professor Sydney Brenner, FRS - "Molecular genetics in prospect"
  • 1984 6th John Innes Symposium, Professor W.W. Franke - "The cytoskeleton - the insoluble architectural framework of the cell"
  • 1986 7th John Innes Symposium, Professor Arthur Kornberg - "Enzyme systems initiating replication at the origin of the E. coli chromosome"
  • 1988 8th John Innes Symposium, Professor Gottfried Schatz - "Interaction between mitochondria and the nucleus"
  • 1990 9th John Innes Symposium, Professor Christiane Nusslein-Volhard - "Axis determination in the Drosophila embryo"
  • 1992 10th John Innes Symposium, Professor Frank Stahl - "Genetic recombination: thinking about it in phage and fungi"
  • 1994 11th John Innes Symposium, Professor Ira Herskowitz - "Violins and orchestras: what a unicellular organism can do"
  • 1996 12th John Innes Symposium, Professor R.(Bob) J.P. Williams - "An Introduction to Protein Machines"
  • 1999 13th John Innes Symposium, Professor Eugene Nester - "DNA and Protein Transfer from Bacteria to Eukaryotes - the Agrobacterium story"
  • 2001 14th John Innes Symposium, Professor David Botstein - "Extracting biological information from DNA Microarray Data"
  • 2002 15th John Innes Symposium, Professor Elliott Meyerowitz
  • 2003 16th John Innes Symposium, Professor Thomas Steitz - "The Macromolecular machines of gene expression"
  • 2008 Professor Sean Carroll, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA - "Endless flies most beautiful: the role of cis-regulatory sequences in the evolution of animal form"
  • 2009 Sir Paul Nurse, Joint Director General of Cancer Research UK - "Genetic transmission through the cell cycle"
  • 2010 Professor Joan Steitz, Yale University - "Viral noncoding RNAs: master regulators of RNA decay"
  • 2011 Professor Philip Benfey, Duke University - "Development rooted in interwoven networks"
  • 2013 Professor Ottoline Leyser, University of Cambridge - "Shoot branching plasticity, how and why"
  • 2014 Professor Michael Eisen, University of California, Berkeley - "Embryonic adolescence: control of gene expression during early fly development"