J.B.S Haldane | British Biologist | Biography

John Burdon Sanderson Haldane (1892-1964) was one of the foremost biologists of his time. He was born at Oxford in England. He is the son of renowned physiologist John Scott Haldane. He was educated in Eton and Cambridge universities. His subjects of the study were genetics, evolutionism and anatomy. He was especially renowned for his pioneering work in genetics, the application of mathematics to biology and the popularization of science. In the thirties of the 20th century when the Jews were killed and many Jews fled from Germany during Hitler’s rule, J.B.S. Haldane helped many Jewish scientists to get a job in Britain. He was left-minded and so he was not allowed to broadcast his view on the causes of war in 1934. As a protest, H. G. Wells also stopped his scheduled programme on radio.

J.B.S. Haldane was a member of the communist party of Great Britain. He worked as the chief editor of the “Workers Daily”. He published ‘Science for Worker’, a series of popular science in that daily. During the civil war in Spain, he advised the Spanish Government to use a gas mask in Spain. He had also been at war for some time. ‘Possible Worlds’ (1927) is his best well-known collection of scientific essays for general readers.

In 1956 J.B.S. Haldane left England forever as a protest against ‘Suez’ issue and mass killing at Port Syed and gave up all relations with England and accepted Indian citizenship. He settled in India in 1957 and worked here for the remainder of his life. In India, he worked at first at the Statistical Institute of India and later at Biochemistry Institute at Bhubaneswar.

J.B.S. Haldane was attacked with cancer and went to London for treatment. At his death-bed, he wrote a humorous poem which was published in the News Statesman there. In 1964 J.B.S. Haldane died at Bhubaneswar. According to his will his dead body was sent to Rangaraiya Medical College for the research work in medical science.

J.B.S. Haldane’s major works include Daedalus, Animal Biology, The Inequality of Man, The Causes of Evolution, The Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences, Science Advances, and The Biochemistry of Genetics. Selected Genetic Papers of J.B.S. Haldane, ed. by Dronamraju Krishna Rao, was published in 1990.