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Bateson, William (1861–1926), biologist, was born on 8 August 1861 in St Hilda's Terrace, Ruswarp, near Whitby, Yorkshire, the second of six children of William Henry Bateson (1812–1881), master of St John's College, Cambridge, and his wife, Anna Aikin (1829–1918), daughter of James Aikin (1792–1878)...

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William Bateson (1861–1926) by Vernon Henry Mottram, 1909 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fowden, Sir Leslie (1925–2008), plant biochemist, was born on 13 October 1925 at Birch Hill House, Wardle, Rochdale, Lancashire, the only child of Herbert Fowden (1878–1960), an iron turner at Turner Brothers, ironfounders, and his wife, Amy Dorothy (1891–1960), a cotton minder and daughter of ...

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Robert Edmond Grant (1793–1874) by Thomas Herbert Maguire, 1852 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Grant, Robert Edmond (1793–1874), comparative anatomist and transmutationist, was born in Edinburgh on 11 November 1793. He was the seventh son in the family of twelve sons and two daughters of Alexander Grant (d. 1808), a wealthy writer to the signet, and ...

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Hogben, Lancelot Thomas (1895–1975), biologist, was born in Southsea, Hampshire, on 9 December 1895, the eldest of three surviving sons of Thomas Hogben and Margaret Alice Prescott. He had three elder sisters (an elder brother died in infancy). His father was a dry-salter and a Methodist who devoted himself to evangelism. His mother was the daughter of a successful building contractor in ...

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Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825–1895), biologist and science educationist, was born on 4 May 1825 in Ealing, the youngest of the six surviving children of George Huxley (1780–1853) and Rachel Withers (1785–1852); an elder sister and younger brother died in infancy. His mother was born in ...

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Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895) by John Collier, 1883 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Romanes, George John [pseuds. Physicus, Metaphysicus] (1848–1894), evolutionary biologist, was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on 20 May 1848, the third son of the Revd George Romanes and Isabella Gair Smith. His father, who taught Greek at the small university in ...

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George John Romanes (1848–1894) by Elliott & Fry, 1891 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Smith, (Robert) Angus (1817–1884), applied chemist and environmental scientist, was born in Pollokshaws, near Glasgow, on 15 February 1817, the seventh son and twelfth child of John Smith (1765–1843), a minor manufacturer of Loudoun, Ayrshire, and Janet (1776–1853), daughter of James Thomson, owner of flax mills. Both families were connected to the prominent ...

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(Robert) Angus Smith (1817–1884) by unknown photographer reproduced courtesy of the Library and Information Centre, Royal Society of Chemistry

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Spencer, Sir (Walter) Baldwin (1860–1929), biologist and anthropologist, was born on 23 June 1860 at Stretford, Lancashire, the second of eleven children of Reuben Spencer (1830–1901) and his wife, Martha (1832–1906), née Circuit. Reuben, a pillar of Manchester congregationalism, rose from clerk to managing director of ...

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Sir (Walter) Baldwin Spencer (1860–1929) by unknown photographer reproduced courtesy of Museum of Victoria, Melbourne

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Thoday, John Marion (1916–2008), radiobiologist and geneticist, was born on 30 August 1916 at 5 Lyme Park, Chinley, Derbyshire, the third of four sons of David Thoday (1883–1964), botanist, and his wife, Mary Gladys, née Sykes (1884–1943), also a botanist. From the ages of two to six he was brought up in ...

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Dame Janet Maria Vaughan (1899–1993) by Elliott & Fry, 1945 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Vaughan [married name Gourlay], Dame Janet Maria (1899–1993), haematologist and radiobiologist, was born on 18 October 1899 at 4 Albert Road, Clifton, Bristol, the eldest of the four children of William Wyamar Vaughan (1865–1938), schoolmaster, and his first wife, Margaret, née Symonds (1869–1925)...

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Vevers, (Henry) Gwynne (1916–1988), marine biologist and intelligence officer, was born on 13 November 1916 at Girvan, Ayrshire, the elder son of Geoffrey Marr Vevers and Catherine Rigby, née Andrews, from Ayrshire. Gwynne Vevers's zoological and popularizing bent were dictated by his education and by his father's interests. ...

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Joseph Sidney Weiner (1915–1982) by unknown photographer, early 1970s Institute of Biological Anthropology

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Weiner, Joseph Sidney (1915–1982), human biologist and environmental physiologist, was born on 29 June 1915 at Nourse Mines in Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa, the second of the seven children of Robert Weiner (1885–1966), general dealer, and his wife Fanny (Chana), née Simon (1896–1978)...