The Haldane Lecture

John Burdon Sanderson Haldane was employed by the John Innes Trustees for ten 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 genetical 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 genetical research at John Innes and maintained the foundations laid by William Bateson our first Director.

Haldane Lecture speakers

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 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.

The piece illustrates the life and career of John Haldane. 

The Haldane print by Leonie Woolhouse

Haldane Lecture portraits

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 FRS. The portraits are a memento of their lecture and visit.

Below you can see all portraits of the speakers of the Haldane Lecture, and you can click on them to see them in more detail.



Eske Willerslev

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Michael Lynch

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Simon Levin

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Herbert Jaeckle




Bruce Stillman

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Pat Brown

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Sydney Brenner

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Tim Mitchison

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John Maynard-Smith

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