JBS Haldane Award for Best Undergraduate
2003 JBS Haldane Award Winner
University of Tuebingen, Germany
JBS Haldane Award
for Best Undergraduate
and its Implications for Aging, Death and the Extension of the
Human Life Span"
Sanderson Haldane is an excellent symbol for this award since his essays
had such a wide impact on the transhumanist imagination.
John Haldane was one of the first twentieth century biologists to
promote the posthuman possibilities made possible by science and
technology. In his landmark essay "Daedalus
or Science and the Future" (1923) Haldane argued against
knee-jerk biases against biological progress and predicted "ectogenesis"
or "test-tube babies" and other futurist technologies. He
The biologist is the most romantic figure on earth.
With the fundamentals of ectogenesis in his brain, the biologist is
the possessor of knowledge that is going to revolutionize human life....The
chemical or physical inventor is always a Prometheus. There is no
great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been hailed as an
insult to some god. But if every physical and chemical invention is a
blasphemy, every biological invention is a perversion. There is hardly
one which, on first being brought to the notice of an observer from
any nation which has not previously heard of their existence, would
not appear to him as indecent and unnatural.
J.B.S. Haldane, 1923 "Daedalus, or Science and the Future
Haldane was a tireless and charismatic popularizer of science in the
1920s and 1930s. In 1932 Haldane was elected to the British Royal
Society and the following year became Professor of Genetics at
University College in London.
Haldane was an active anti-fascist, and worked to defend the Spanish
Republic against the rise of fascism. While at Oxford Haldane had joined
the eugenics society, but later he became a leading critic of eugenics
as unscientific nonsense. Haldane became a Communist in the middle
part of his life (1937-1950), but left the Communist Party over the travesty of
Lysenkoism and the revelations about Stalin. In 1957 Haldane emigrated to India to protest the
Anglo-French invasion of Suez. He worked at the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta before becoming head of the Orissa State Genetics
and Biometry Laboratory in 1962.
In 1964 Haldane coined the term "clones" in his essay
Possibilities for the Human Species of the Next Ten-Thousand Years."
For more information about John Haldane: