The Haldane Lecture

John Burdon Sanderson Haldane was employed by the John Innes Trustees for 10 years, from 1927 to 1937.

The eminent mathematical biologist, and co-founder of the ‘synthetic theory of evolution’, was employed by the John Innes Trustees, under the Directorship of Sir Daniel Hall, on a part-time basis whilst at the University of Cambridge.

Unable to find a suitable person to lead the genetics research at John Innes, Hall convinced the Trustees to employ Haldane in an advisory capacity, to which Haldane firmly adhered, never once performing any experiments whilst at John Innes.

There is little doubt that Haldane’s contribution during those years ensured the continued development of genetics research at John Innes and maintained the foundations laid by William Bateson our first Director.

Previous Haldane Lecture Speakers

2023 –  Professor Bruce McDonald, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) – ‘Towards solving the problem of pathogen evolution in agricultural ecosystems’

2017 – Eske Willerslev, Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark – ‘Human migrations and megafaunal extinctions’

2016 – Michael Elowitz, California Institute of Technology – ‘Design Principles of Mammalian Signaling and Epigenetic Memory Circuits’

2014 – Professor Michael Lynch, Department of Biology, Indiana University – ‘Mutation, drift and the origin of subcellular features’

2013 – Alexander van Oudenaarden, Hubrecht Institute-KNAW & University Medical Center Utrecht – ‘microRNAs decrease gene expression noise’

2011 – Simon Levin, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University – ‘Crossing scales’

2007 – Herbert Jaeckle, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry – ‘Lean or fat: control of energy homeostasis in animals’

2006 – Bruce Stillman, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

2004 – Pat Brown

2003 – Sydney Brenner

2002 – Tim Mitchison

2001 – John Maynard-Smith

Speakers portraits and prints

Speakers at the Haldane Lecture are presented with a print of a work of art by the late Leonie Woolhouse, a local artist and wife of the former Director Harold Woolhouse, which illustrates the life and career of John Haldane.

During their visit to the John Innes Centre, speakers of the named lectures are given the opportunity to have their portrait done by Professor Enrico Coen.