Jack Cohen
2. ADDRESS: 3 Picklenash Court, Bradfords Lane, NEWENT, Gloucestershire, GL18 1QT, UK
Phone/Fax/Ansa: #44 (0) 1531 822 432 Mobile: 07812 153 677
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
3. BIRTH: 19th September 1933; Norwich, England.
5. MARITAL STATUS and CHILDREN: Divorced from Carol Murtha Irving. (Divorced from Dr. Judith Rosalind Cohen, née Evans M.B., B.S. Four children by that marriage; two from previous marriage to Carmela Mia Dawidowicz.)
1954 B.Sc. (Zoology; Special Subject Embryology) London University (External, at University College, Hull). Hons II (not graded i or ii at that time). 1957 Ph.D. University of Hull: "The interactions between pigment cells and other feather germ components in the produc­tion of some colour patterns in feathers". (External examiner: C.H.Waddington; Internal examiner: P.G.Espinasse).
1974 D.Sc. University of Birmingham.
1974Fellowship of the Institute of Biology 1995 Invited to be Fellow of New England Complex Systems Institute by Yaneer Bar Yam – achieved NECSIalist status! 2000 Fellowship of the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence 2000 Honorary Professor, Institute of Mathematics, University of Warwick, UK 2005Visiting Professor, University of Durham, UK
7.PRESENTLY: Biologist. Author. Complexity scientist.
2000-3 Consultant Embryologist, Assisted Conception Unit, Birmingham Women’s Hospital and University of B’ham Dept of Medicine (part-time).
1996-2000 Consultant, Mathematics Institute and Ecosystems Analysis and Epidemiology Unit (previously Ecosystems Management), Biology Dept, Warwick University, COVENTRY CV4 7AL
1995-6 Rosi and Max Varon Visiting Professor at the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, ISRAEL 1987-9 Senior Embryological Advisor and Manager of Labs, IVF Clinic, Infertility Unit, Humana Hospital Wellington, LONDON Director Ian Craft.
1968-87 Senior Lecturer in Animal Reproduction, Department of Zoology and Comparative Physiology, The University of Birmingham.
1963-4 Research Fellow at Harvard University, with Dr.G. Szabo, Department of Dermato­logy, Harvard Medical School and Mass. General Hospital, BOSTON, USA.



Although my Ph.D. was centred on feather pigmentation, the most useful result was a new theory of feather development. The feather work, both feather development and pigmentation, still retains authority in the field. Working for the M.R.C. I chose rat whisker (vibris­sa) follicles because they are a workable intermediate size, and investigated dermal-papilla/epidermis/dermis interactions by implanting parts of the whisker papillae into rat ears. I developed a scissors with 1mm blades, with John Weiss Ltd I concluded that dermis in the adult, as in the embryo, determined the differentiation of its epidermis and what kind of hair or feather was produced by the epidermis under the influence of a dermal papilla. This is now well accepted.
I filmed pigment donations from melanocytes of human (foreskin, collected from around Boston in 1963-4) and guinea-pig (ear) skin to epidermal cells at Harvard (1963-4). This film has been used for teaching cell biology, and variants of my technique are used routinely to culture keratinocytes for skin grafts after burns.

In 1966 I explained the enormous variation in numbers of spermatozoa offered for fertilisation by different animals. This theory predicted that there would be more sperm redundancy in organisms with more chiasmata (genetic crossovers) and this has in general been found. I predicted, and showed, that spermatozoa which have attained the fertilisation site are not 'tired' or 'used up' but are very much more effective than fresh spermatozoa when re-inseminated in competition with fresh spermatozoa. The mechanism of discrimina­tion probably involves antibodies, and the theory has provided diagnosis and treatment of some human infertility. The human Y-chromosome sequence has given strong hints of a whole new view of sexuality: diploidy and recognition of DNA errors, followed by repair or rejection, can explain sperm redundancy and many other puzzles, especially the conservation of long DNA sequences without mutational “meltdown”.

I “invented” the phylotypic stage in my first textbook, Living Embryos (“phyletic stage”). "Maternal constraints on develop­ment" and "Metamorphosis" articles have excited much discussion. “Larvae and the Origins of Major Phyla” has been much cited. My Nature Concepts “Knife-Edge of Design” (2000), should have excited dissent, but it seems that my approach is no longer radical.

I promoted zebrafish, Brachydanio (now Danio) rerio, as a teaching and research model organism.

At Birmingham Maternity Hospital (now Women’s Hospital), we established a unit for investigations of sperm-associated infertility, dealing with about 100 couples per month. I transferred some of the resultant successful IVF techniques to the Humana Infertility Unit in London

I am presently involved with Ian Stewart (now FRS), at the Institute of Mathematics at Warwick University. We produced two very well-reviewed and successful popular science books, The Collapse of Chaos (Penguin)and Figments of Reality (CUP), as well as the popular Science of Discworld (Ebury Press) Science of Discworld 2: The Globe and a third (and last) Science of Discworld: Darwin’s Watch. We have expanded our mutual interests and have produced more papers and books, including a science-fiction novel, Wheelers (Warner-Aspect, chosen as Nov ’00 Special Choice by Science Fiction Book Club of America). A sequel, Heaven, has now appeared in the US. More are gestating, including The Appearance of Design (Penguin), to follow Collapse and Figments, NECSI (the New England Complex Systems Institute) and ISCE (Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence) have involved me in their recent meetings/consultancies/planning, and have made me a Fellow of the latter Institute.


I have supervised more than a score of graduate students. Three have achieved D.Sc.'s. Werrett (who invented the use of DNA-finger-printing for criminal investigation) headed forensic biology in the U.K., Oliver headed the leading British hair growth research group centred in Dundee, and Graham was Chief Research Professor at the US Air Force Primate Research Center in New Mexico. Several IVF labs have been set up by my graduate students, with excellent results. Siddiquey set up Winston’s Hammersmith IVF Unit, Tucker set up a very successful IVF, and general infertility, labora­tory/clinic in Hong Kong (as well as several in London) and was Senior Research Scientist and Head of Laboratory in the remarkable Assisted Reproduction Complex in Atlanta, Ga., U.S.A before striking off on his own. Barratt heads a large Andrology, and Assisted Conception, research unit and teaching department, Reproductive Medicine, in Birmingham. Taylor was micro-photographer for London Scientific Films in their heyday, and Nemorin has managed several large public aquaria.


Institute of Biology (1961-, Chair of Publications Committee 1976-82, Chair of Biologist Board 1978-84, and other Council and Committee posts; West Midlands Chair-Organism 1990-4, Biologist Board 2002-4, BioMedical Committee 2002-5) Linnean Society (1978-, Vice-President 1994-7) Zoological Society of London (1957- )


(a) Books
1963 COHEN, J. Living Embryos (Textbook of Elementary Embryology) Oxford: Pergamon Press. 2nd Edition. 1967 3rd Edition, with B D Massey 1981
1978 COHEN, J and HENDRY W F Spermatozoa, Antibodies and Infertility. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.
1979. COHEN, J Reproduction. Butterworths. 1984 COHEN, J. and MASSEY, B.D. Animal Reproduction: parents making parents. Lon­don: Arnolds.
1989 COHEN, J. The Privileged Ape; cultural capital in the making of Man. 'Frontiers of Thought' series (ed. V. Serebriakoff). Carnforth, Lancs: Parthenon Press.
1994 COHEN, J. and Stewart, I. The Collapse of Chaos; simple laws in a complex world (New York: Penguin, Viking)
1997 STEWART, I and COHEN, J. Figments of Reality; the origins of the curious mind Cambridge University Press.
1999 PRATCHETT, T, STEWART, I AND COHEN, J The Science of Discworld. London: Ebury Press
2000 COHEN, J and MEDLEY, G (Introduction by I STEWART.) Stop working and Start Thinking: a guide to becoming a scientist Cheltenham: Nelson-Thornes
2000 STEWART, I and COHEN, J. Wheelers. New York: Warner-Aspect.
2000 PRATCHETT, T, STEWART, I AND COHEN, J The Science of Discworld 2: The Globe. London: Ebury Press, Random House.
2002 COHEN, J. and STEWART, I Evolving the Alien: the science of extra-terrestrial life. London: Ebury Press. P/b
2003: What Does a Martian Look Like? The Science of Extra-terrestrial Life
2003 COHEN, J. and STEWART, I What Does a Martian Look Like? The Science of Extra-terrestrial Life. New York: Wiley (US version of Evolving the Alien) 2003 COHEN, J. and STEWART, I Heaven Warner-Aspect, New York
2005 PRATCHETT, T, STEWART, I AND COHEN, J The Science of Discworld 3: Darwin’s Watch. London: Ebury Press, Random House.
2005 COHEN, J and MEDLEY, G (Introduction by I STEWART.) Stop working and Start Thinking: a guide to becoming a scientist. 2nd revised edn. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis

(b) Contributions to journals (refereed scientific papers – last 20 years + exceptionals)
1961 COHEN, J. and 'ESPINASSE, P.G. On the normal and abnormal development of the feather. J. Embryol. exp. Morph. 9, 223-251.
1966 COHEN, J. Feathers and patterns. Advances in Morphogenesis, 5, 1-38
1967 COHEN, J. The correlation between sperm redundancy and chiasma frequency. Nature, 215, 862-863.
1969 COHEN, J. Dermis, epidermis and dermal papilla interacting. In: Advances in the Biology of Skin IX. Hair Growth. (ed. W. Montagna). Oxford: Pergamon 1-18.
1971 COHEN, J. The comparative physiology of gamete populations. Advances in Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry 4, 267-380. (Requested review).
1982 COHEN,J. and MASSEY, B.D. Larvae and the origins of major phyla,. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 19, 321-8.
1985 PANDYA, I. and COHEN, J. The leucocytic reaction of human uterine cervix to sperma­tozoa. Fert. Steril. 43, 417-21.
1986 ADEGHE, A.J-H., COHEN, J., and SAWERS, R.S. Relationships between local and systemic auto-antibodies to spermatozoa - an evaluation of immuno-bead test for sperm-surface antibodies. Acta Europaea Fertilitas 7 99-105
1987 BARRATT, C.L.R. and COHEN, J. Quantitation of sperm disposal and phagocytic cells in the tract of short- and long-term vasectomised mice. J. Reprod. Fert. 81 377-84
1988 AMANZE, D. and COHEN, J. Stabilizing selection in Jewel Fish (Hemichromis bimacu­latus). Nigerian Journal of Applied Fisheries and Hydrobiology 3 29-33
1988 BARRATT, C.L.R and COHEN, J. Quantitative effects of short and long term vasect­omy on mouse spermatogenesis and sperm transport. Contraception 37 415-424
1990 COHEN, J. The possibility of life on other planets. Biologist 38(1) 7-10
1990 COHEN, J. Here be dragons. J. Biol. Ed. 24 (3) 158-60
1991 COHEN, J. and STEWART, I. Chaos, contingency and convergence. Non-linear Science Today 1 (2) 9-13
1991 COHEN, J. How to Design an Alien. New Scientist 132, Dec 21st, 1991. 18-21
1991 COHEN, J. and STEWART, I. The information in your hand. The Mathematical Intelligencer 13 12-15
1993 COHEN, J. and STEWART, I. Let T = Tiger. New Scientist 6th Nov '93, 40-44.
1994 STEWART, I and COHEN, J. Why are there simple rules in a complicated universe? Futures 26 (6) 648-664
1995 BROMWICH, P., COHEN, J., STEWART, I and WALKER, A. Decline in sperm counts - an artefact of changed reference range of "normal"? Brit. Med. J. 309 #6946 9 - 2
1995 COHEN, J. and STEWART, I. Beyond all reasonable DNA. Lancet. 345 1586-8
1998 COHEN, J New perspectives on immuno-recognition of gametes and embryos: Spermatozoa and antibodies. Molecular Human Reproduction 4 318-24
1998 COHEN, J and STEWART, I That’s amazing, isn’t it? New Scientist 157 24-8
1999 COHEN, J Sperms galore; why mammals produce huge numbers of spermatozoa.. Science Spectra 16 14-20
2000 BOISOT, M AND COHEN, J Shall I Compare Thee to….. an Organization? Emergence 2 (4) 113-135
2001 COHEN, J and STEWART, I. Where are the dolphins? Nature, Astrobiology Insight 409 1119-21
2001 COHEN, J Concepts: Knife-edge of design. Nature 411 529
2004 COHEN, J Perspectives: What does the human Y-chromosome sequence suggest about diploidy? Systematics and Biodiversity 2 1-7

c) Papers prepared for conferences and meetings (last 20 years, + exceptionals)
1964 COHEN, J. Transplantation of hair papillae. In The Mammalian Epidermis and its Deri­vatives. Symp.Zoo.Soc.Lond.12, 83-96.
1974 COHEN, J. Gametic diversity within an ejaculate. In: Functional Morphology of the Spermatozoon (ed. B. Afzelius). Wenner-Gren. Stockholm. Pergamon Press 329- 339.
1978 COHEN, J. AND GREGSON, S.H. Spermatozoa and antibodies in the genital tract of infertile women. In Spermatozoa, Antibodies and Infertility (eds J. Cohen and W. F. Hendry). Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications. 17-31.
1979 COHEN, J. Introduction: Maternal constraints on development. In: Maternal Effects on Development (eds. D. R. Newth and M. Balls). British Society for Developmental Biology Symposium 4. Cambridge: University Press, 1-28.
1984 COHEN, J. Immunological aspects of sperm selection and transport. In: Immunological Aspects of Reproduction in Mammals (Crighton B. ed.) London: Butterworths, 77- 89.
1984 PANDYA, I. and COHEN, J. Human cervical response to artificial insemination. In Male Factor in Human Infertility Diagnosis and Treatment. (eds. Thompson, W., Harrison, R.F. and Bonner, J.) Lancaster: M.T.P. Press, 127-131.
1985 COHEN, J. Metamorphosis: Introduction, usages and evolution. In: Metamorphosis ( eds. M. Balls and M.E. Bownes) Oxford: University Press. 1-19.
1987 COHEN, J. and ADEGHE, J-H.A. The other spermatozoa; fate and functions. In New Horizons in Spermatozoal Research (ed. H. Mohri). Japan Sci. Socs. Press. 125- 134.
1990 COHEN, J. The function of human semen coagulation and liquefaction in vivo. In Advances in In Vitro Fertilization and Assisted Reproduction Technologies (eds. S. Mashiach, Z. Ben-Rafael, N. Laufer and J.G.Schenker) New York: Plenum Press. 443-452
1992 COHEN, J. The case for and against sperm selection. In Comparative Spermatology - Twenty Years After" (ed B. Baccetti). Ares-Serono Symposia 75. New York: Raven Press. 759-64
1992 COHEN, J. Sex, sperms, and cytology. SCAN (J. Nat. Assoc. Cytol.) 3 13-4
1993 COHEN, J. A new look at developmental abnormalities. Proc. Industrial Histology Discussion Group 7 8-14
1996 COHEN, J. Reproductive fallacies. Proc Royal Institution G.B. 67 171-192
1996 COHEN, J. A Scientist’s Life as Science Fiction. In Evolution, the Convention Booklet of the British National Science Fiction Convention 5-8th April ’96. 19-21
1996 COHEN, J. and RICE, SEAN H.. Where do biochemical pathways lead? In Integrative Approaches to Molecular Biology (ed J. Collado-Vides, B. Magasanik and T. F. Smith) Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. 239-51
1999 Cohen, J Becoming Maureen – a Story of Development. In Mission to Abisko: stories and myths in the creation of scientific “truth” (ed J L Casti and A Karlqvist. Reading, Mass: Helix Books 49-58
1999 COHEN, J The evolution of the sexual arena. In Male Fertility and Infertility (Ed T D Glover and C L R Barratt) Cambridge: University Press 3-17
1999 COHEN, J Space Travel and Human Reproduction. In 11th World Congress on In Vitro Fertilization and Human Reproductive Genetics (Ed R Jansen and D Mortimer). Lancs: Parthenon Press. 346-51
1999 STEWART, I and COHEN, J. Polymorphism viewed as phenotypic symmetry-breaking. In Nonlinear Phenomena in Biological and Physical Sciences (ed. S K Malik, M K Chandrashekaran, N Pradhan). New Delhi: Indian Nat. Sci. Acad. 2000 1-64
1999 COHEN, J and LEICESTER, M The evolution of the learning society: brain science, social science and life-long learning. In Lifelong Learning (ed J Field and M Leicester). London: Routledge Falmer. 65-74
2001 COHEN, J The complexity of evolution. In Nonlinear Dynamics in the Life and Social Sciences (ed W Sulis and I Trofimova) Amsterdam: IOS Press 349-59
2003 STEWART I, ELMHIRST T, AND COHEN, J (2002) Symmetry-breaking as an origin of species. Trends in Mathematics: Bifurcations, Symmetry and Patterns(ed J Buescu et al). Basel: Birkhauser Verlag 3-54
2003 COHEN, J How does complexity develop? In Formal Descriptions of Developing Systems (ed James Nation et al). Kluwer Academic Publishers. 153-64
2004 COHEN, J How does diversity increase? In Diversity and Innovation in Social Systems (ed P Andriani et al); in Press
2005? COHEN, J The problem of becoming – the meaning of change in organic evolution. To appear in Practices of Meaning (ed H Letiche).

(d) Other publications (last 20 years + exceptionals)
1969 COHEN, J. Why so many sperms? An essay on the arithmetic of reproduction. Sci. Prog. Oxf. 57, 23-41. (Requested review).
1982 COHEN,J. Contraception. In: The Encyclopaedia of Ignorance, Vol. 3: Biomedical and Behavioural Sciences (ed. B. Duncan and M. Weston-Smith). Oxford: Pergamon Press, 189-202
1988 COHEN, J. and SIMONS, E.G. Research on human embryos. Maternal and Child Health 13 264-7
1989 ADEGHE, A.J-H., BARRATT, C.L.R., and COHEN, J. Principles and guidelines for anti-sperm antibody detection. In Advances in Clinical Andrology (ed. C.L.R.Bar­ratt and I.D.Cooke). Lancaster: M.T.P Press.
1990HEN, J., COHEN, J and COHEN, J. Simplifying the proliferation of excess reproduc­tive meanings (SPERM) Human Reproduction 5 1029-30 (This was a gentle spoof on acro­nyms, originally "Collection of heterogeneous acronymic nomenclature in medicine " = COHANIM)
1991 COHEN, J. Advances in Cell Biology. In Scientific Foundations of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (eds. E.E.Philipp and M.E.Setchell) 4th Edn. London: Heinemann Medical Books. 1-18
1992 COHEN, J. Making your uncertainties bigger. Proceedings of the Industrial Histology Discussion Group 6 16-23
1992 COHEN, J. Scientific Correspondence: Development of the zootype. Nature 363, 307.
1993 COHEN, J. Imagining Aliens. Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook 1994. 66-85
1994 STEWART, I and COHEN, J. Why are there simple rules in a complicated universe? Futures 26 (6) 648-664
1994 COHEN, J and STEWART, I Our genes aren't us (excerpted from The Collapse of Chaos) Discover April '94 79-84
1995 COHEN, J and STEWART, I. Taxing the rat farms: pollution in context. Marine Pollution Bulletin 30 236-8
1996 COHEN, J. Who do we blame for what we are? In How Things Are: a science tool-kit for the mind. Ed. J. Brockman and K. Matson. New York: William Morrow and Co Inc.
1997 COHEN, J Dangerous liaisons. Review of Menachem’s Seed by Carl Djerassi. Nature 389 807-8
1998. COHEN, J Review of The Ovary of Eve: Egg and Sperm and Preformation by C. Pinto-Correia. Endeavour 22 83-4 1998. COHEN, J Thinking about thinking. Review of Brainchildren: essays on designing minds by Daniel C Dennett. Scientific American July 1998 113-4
1998 STEWART, I and COHEN, J Code of the Skydiver. Interzone October 1998 21-6 (S-f story)
1999 COHEN, J., LANDIS, G.A. and J. SLONCZEWSKI Science: the future of sex. Science Fiction Age March 1999 30-33 (Internet discussion)
1999 COHEN, J Science and Magic. In The Fortean Times Book of Unconventional Wisdom (Ed J Innes and V. Stevenson). London: John Brown Publishing. 35-8
2000 STEWART, I and COHEN, J Futures: Monolith. Nature 408 913 (Micro-s-f story)
2002 COHEN, J Is Biology Science? Biologist 49 188
2003 COHEN, J Afterword. In The Organic Codes; an introduction to semantic biology, by M Barbieri Cambridge: University Press 265-77
2003 COHEN, J Purifying your biological body. Biologist 50 151-2
2004 COHEN, J A right to eat mice. Biologist 51 60


Imperial College, London(3), Open University, Queen Mary College, London(2) University of Aston, B'ham(4), University College, London(3), University of Dundee(3), University of Essex, University of Exeter(2),University of Glasgow (2), University of Hull (2), University of Keele (4), University of Liverpool, University of Manchester (2), University of Reading(3), University of Southampton, University of Sheffield (2), University of Leeds(3), University of Belfast TCD and UC, University of Dublin (3), University of Tel Aviv(3), University of Hong Kong,University of Nebraska at Omaha(3), University of California at Riverside(2), University of Hangchou, P.R. China, University of Birmingham (since 1987) (4), Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel(3),University of Warwick (7) and others….. Student Biological or Science-fiction Societies not included in the above list ... about 6 most years) 

a. Single lectures.
The possibility of life on other planets
The measure of our days
Pills, population and paradox
The origins of life
Eggs, embryos and adults
Eggs, embryos and ethics
Why so many sperms?
Why is Mickey Mouse?
Pets, pests and parasites
Apes, angels and ancestors
Cats, culling and conservation
The design of alien ecologies
How to invent aliens - the rules
Diversions, delights, and deviations
Reproductive Fallacies

b. Courses arranged via University of Birmingham Extramural Department (now School of Continuing Studies)

(Times given, average number of students)

i Evening Courses:
The Reproduction of Fishes (4, 40)
Tissue Culture (3, 20)
The Biology of the Aquarium (3, 45)
Freshwater Ecology (2, 15)
Fish Breeding, for Aquarists (3, 35)
Fishes in Health and Disease (2, 45)
Techniques for Biologists and Naturalists (3, 25)
Contraception (3, 10)

ii Day Schools: Animal Handling (four Saturdays) (14, limited to 30)
Embryology for Schoolteachers (2, 15)
Various topics, e.g. Embryology, Aquaria in Classrooms, The New Genetics, designed especially for Biology Teachers (12, 20)


a. Undergraduate Courses:

1959-63 Protozoa; Parazoa; Coelenterata; Mollusca. 1959-63 Pre-medical year practical classes (Gulbenkian Foundation Trials).
1959-87 Various Embryology and Reproduction courses to all undergraduate years.
1965-87 Various: varied animal phyla, physiological ecology, meiofauna, etc,etc.
1964-75 10-20 lectures to 2nd years, Applied Zoology (Agriculture, Fisheries and other biological industry, supported by visits).
1965-87 Lectures to special Honours Evolution course, various topics.
1978-81 Chairman and organiser, final-year Honours Evolution course.
1964-75 Option leader of final year undergraduate option in Embryology.
1975-87 Option leader of final year undergraduate option in Reproductive Biology.
1975-87 Marine Field Courses at Orielton Field Centre, West Wales.
1964-8 "Differentiation" for medical students.
1978-82 “Differential diagnosis” for medical students
1964-83Biological topics selected for final year Electronic Engineering students.

b. Postgraduate lectures:

Occasional; embryological topics to M.Sc. courses in Radiobiology, Immunology, Obste­trics and Gynaecology, Toxicology.
1994-2000 Human Ecology for M.Sc. in Ecosystems Analysis and Management, University of Warwick School of Biological Sciences.
1997 Reproductive Biology for postgraduates at the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel 14.

PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS additional to University:

1964-72 Chairman, Birmingham Biology Teachers Centre (organized establish-ment by Royal Society and Institute of Biology at the University of Birmingham).
1974-81 Member of Local Executive Committee, British Association for Advan­cement of Science, Mids Branch. (committed to BA Lecture Service from 1961).
1975-80 Member, World Health Organisation Contraception Task Force, on Immunological Methods of Fertility Regulation.
1977-81 Member, Editorial Board 'Biologist', Institute of Biology.
1979-81 Chairman, Editorial Board 'Biologist', Institute of Biology.
1979-81 Council Member, Institute of Biology.
1979-84 Member, Biomedical Board, Institute of Biology
1983-87 Chairman, Publications Policy Committee, Institute of Biology.
1990-96 Chairman ("Chair-Organism"), West Midlands Branch of the Inst. Biol..
1991-7 Member of the Court of the University of Birmingham, Alumni rep.19
1992-97 Council Member, Linnean Society
1994-97 Vice-President, Linnean Society
2001-4 Member, Editorial Board 'Biologist', Institute of Biology
2001-5 Member, Biomedical Board, Institute of Biology


   As Chairman of the Editorial Board of 'Biologist' I was responsible for the changed format (1979) from a dowdy 'house magazine' to a professionally-designed and interesting publication with several long-running series more appropriate to its circulation (17,000 then).
   As Chairman of the Publications Policy Committee of the Institute of Biology, I was concerned with all Institute publications, especially Biologist, Journal of Biological Education and the Careers with Biology booklet, and initiated the Schools Affiliation Programme.
  I was on the Editorial Advisory Panel of Development (previously Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology) - not a demanding position.
  I was on the Council of Management of "Research in Reproduction" (cross-refer­enced index, circulation world-wide; now associated with Oxford University Press). After we failed to associate with a US computer-abstracting company, and tied up with OUP, I left the Council.
  I have organised several successful meetings, including annual meetings, of professional societies, including the British Society for Developmental Biology, Society for the Study of Fertility and Sections for various International Symposia. W.H.Hendry and I organised the very successful Institute of Urology meeting commemorated by 'Spermatozoa, Antibodies and Infertility'.
  I enjoyed service with Bromsgrove and Redditch Community Health Council, 1988-90, as FPA representative, and was disappointed not to continue (the selection of local organisa­tions to be represented is randomised).
  I was elected Chairman of British Mensa in 1966, and then devoted much time to persuading members, press and public to take the organisation less seriously. I limited the Chairman term to three years and cleared up some financial and legal troubles. I left the socie­ty in 1972, still unable to be serious about it. I have been associated with its activities (especi­ally Mensa-at-Cambridge meetings at colleges), even when I was not a member. I have now joined again, and now run Mensa-at-Cambridge.
   I was Editor-in-Chief of Speculations in Science and Technology from 1995 till Kluwer, having purchased it from Chapman and Hall, closed it down in 1999. I was consistently amazed at how many people (about thirty a month) considered ignorance to be no bar to making leaps of understanding in maths, science and medicine. But also, I was delighted to be able to publish marginal-but-exciting material which other journals felt disinclined to accept.


   I have assisted in the production of several educational and biological-dramatic television programmes and series ("The Scientist's Eye", "Look Again", etc.), and more are in prospect. I helped produce the Horizon "Genesis" (BBC, 1986), with John Palfreyman. I have appeared occasionally on local 'magazine' programmes and on "talk shows" on both radio and television (four recordings of The Litmus Test on BBC Radio 4 in 1992, three more in 1994). I initiated, consulted for and participated in the 1980 'Fancy Fish' series on BBC2, repeated three times so far. I assisted with the BBC Attenbor­ough series "Trials of Life", based in part on my Reproduction book. Ian Stewart, Stephen Hawking and I were involved with a series of Reality on the Rocks, TV programmes explaining science to Ken Campbell, February 1995. I initiated, helped to organise, and participated in The Natural History of an Alien, produced at Bristol Natural History Unit of the BBC for Discovery Programme Mars weekend 1998. I am currently involved with several TV projects.


   There have been two major areas in reproductive biology in which my expertise has been sought: mammalian in-vitro fertilisation, and development, of fishes, of reptiles and of humans.

   I have been professionally consulted about the husbandry and science of ornamental and aquacultural fishes; and about lakes and their maintenance. In addition, I have been commissioned to sort out problems in microscopy and, especially, time-lapse photography of development.

   I have also been consulted, semi-professionally, by many well known science-fiction authors anxious to improve the authenticity of their backgrounds and plots. Some of the books which have resulted from this collaboration are the West of Eden series (Harrison) and some of the Dragons of Pern books, especially Dragonsdawn, The Dolphins of Pern and All the Weyrs of Pern (McCaffrey). The Helliconia series (Brian Aldiss) and several of the "Known Universe" series by Larry Niven acknowledge my assistance. I also helped initiate, and have been involved in, David Gerrold's Chtorr series. I designed the alien ecosystem for the sequel to the Legacy of Heorot, with Niven, Pournelle and Barnes: Dragons of Heorot in UK, Beowulf’s Children in US. And, of course, Wheelers and its sequel Heaven, and its proposed prequel Beastmaster (working title), all with Ian Stewart, are our own contribution to fiction with alien connections


Science fiction, especially the rational design of alien biolo­gies.
Operatic music, especially 'Golden Age' recordings.
Swimming, diving, boomerangs.
Microscopy, 1980’s vintage (ie before infinity-corrected lenses….)
Freshwater microscopic ecologies.
The maintenance and breeding, in captivity, of tropical fishes and reptiles, and the design of teaching and domestic aquarium and vivarium systems.
Teaching people about animals, wild and domestic. (From 1970-1992 I usually had, at home: llamas, ponies for riding and driving, donkeys, sheep, geese; 10 breeds of chickens (kept by my second wife); a brief ocelot; reptiles and amphibians; pond and aquarium fishes - as well as four cats and three dogs; and, mostly, four children.)
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