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Brigitte Alice Askonas (1923–2013) by unknown photographer, 1970s © reserved; National Institute of Medical Research

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Askonas, Brigitte Alice [Ita] (1923–2013), immunologist and biochemist, was born on 1 April 1923 in Vienna, the second child and only daughter of Czech parents who were Jewish converts to Catholicism, Carl Frederick (later Charles Frederick) Askonas (1893–1946) and his wife, Rose, née...

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Bawden, Sir Frederick Charles (1908–1972), virologist and plant pathologist, was born on 18 August 1908 in North Tawton, Devon, the younger son and youngest of the three children of George Bawden, relieving officer and registrar of births and deaths, and his wife, Ellen Balment...

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J. A. Boycott

revised by Geoffrey L. Asherson

Boycott, Arthur Edwin (1877–1938), pathologist and naturalist, was born at Hereford on 6 April 1877, the third son of William Boycott, solicitor, and his wife, Eliza Mellard. He was educated at Hereford Cathedral school, and gained the senior classical scholarship at Oriel College, Oxford...

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Sir David Bruce (1855–1931) by unknown photographer, 1894–6 Wellcome Library, London

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S. R. Christophers

revised by Helen J. Power

Bruce, Sir David (1855–1931), bacteriologist and parasitologist, was born in Melbourne, Australia, on 29 May 1855, the only son of David Bruce, of Edinburgh, and his wife, Jane, daughter of Alexander Hamilton, of Stirling. His father was presumably an engineer, who went to ...

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Christophers, Sir (Samuel) Rickard (1873–1978), protozoologist and tropical medicine specialist, was born on 27 November 1873 in Liverpool, the elder son and eldest of three children of Samuel Hunt Christophers and his wife, Mary Selina, daughter of William Rickard, a mining expert in ...

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Downie, Allan Watt (1901–1988), medical microbiologist, was born on 5 September 1901 in Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire, the fifth child in the family of seven sons and one daughter of William Downie, a deep-sea fisherman, and his wife, Margaret Watt, daughter of a fisherman from ...

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William Farr (1807–1883) by Ernest Edwards, pubd 1865 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Farr, William (1807–1883), statistician and epidemiologist, was born on 30 November 1807 in Kenley, Shropshire, the first of five children of John Farr (1783–1864), farm labourer, and his wife, Catherine (1780–1845). While he was still an infant his parents moved to Dorrington near ...

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Henry Faulds (1843–1930) by unknown photographer, pubd 1923 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Faulds, Henry (1843–1930), general practitioner and developer of fingerprinting, was born on 1 June 1843 at Beith, Ayrshire, the son of William Pollock Faulds, an impoverished grocer, and his wife, Anne Cameron. Both sides of his family were of Scottish descent. After school at ...

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Gorer, Peter Alfred Isaac (1907–1961), immunologist and geneticist, was born in London on 14 April 1907, the second of the three sons of Edgar Ezekiel Gorer (1872–1915), a noted collector of oriental art and fine art dealer, and his wife, Rachel Alice, née...

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Greenwood, Major (1880–1949), epidemiologist and medical statistician, was born in Shoreditch, east London, on 9 August 1880, the eldest son and only surviving child of Major Greenwood (1854–1917), general practitioner, and his wife, Annie (1858–1904), daughter of P. C. Burchell MB. Greenwood's two younger siblings both died of tuberculosis in infancy; his mother died of the same disease shortly after he had qualified in medicine. During ...

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Haffkine, Waldemar Mordecai Wolff [formerly Vladimir Aronovitch Chavkin] (1860–1930), zoologist and bacteriologist, born Vladimir Aronovich Chavkin in Odessa, Russia, on 15 March 1860, was the son of Aaron and Rosalie Chavkin (d. c.1866), members of a Jewish merchant family formerly of ...

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Henderson, David Willis Wilson (1903–1968), immunologist and scientific administrator, was born on 23 July 1903 at Partick, Glasgow, the only child of John Henderson, accountant, and his wife, Mary Wilson. He was educated at Hamilton Academy where he enjoyed science and found ways to avoid working on subjects he disliked. On leaving school he chose a career in farming, but abandoned this abruptly because of his dismay at its unscientific methods. He instead enrolled for a degree in agricultural bacteriology at the ...

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David Willis Wilson Henderson (1903–1968) by Walter Bird Godfrey Argent Studios / Royal Society

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Sir William James Herschel, second baronet (1833–1917) by unknown photographer private collection; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Herschel, Sir William James, second baronet (1833–1917), developer of fingerprinting and judge, was born on 9 January 1833, probably in Slough, the eldest child of the three sons and nine daughters of Sir John Herschel, first baronet (1792–1871), astronomer and chemist, and his wife, ...

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Holden, Henry Smith (1887–1963), botanist and forensic scientist, was born at Castleton, near Rochdale, Lancashire, on 30 November 1887, the elder of the two sons of Henry Carlton Holden, a clerk and cotton merchant, and his wife, Betsy Cockcroft. He was educated at ...