Haldane, John Burdon Sanderson

Haldane, John Burdon Sanderson hôlˈdān, –dən [key], 1892–1964, British geneticist, biologist, and popularizer of science; son of John Scott Haldane. He studied at Oxford until his studies were interrupted by World War I; he worked on a genetics paper in the trenches. One of the most influential scientists of the 20th cent, he studied relationships among different disciplines and problems, including the consequence of Mendelian genetics on evolutionary theory, helping to create the science of evolutionary biology. He also studied the relationship between enzymology and genetics, and the application of mathematics and statistics to the study of biology. Haldane's works, which are numerous, include (with John S. Huxley) Animal Biology (1927), The Causes of Evolution (1937), New Paths in Genetics (1941), and Biochemistry of Genetics (1954). Haldane also wrote fiction and verse as well as political works in support of Marxism, notably The Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences (1938). Disillusioned with Marxism in the 1940s and 50s, he eventually moved to India to conduct scientific research.

See biographies by R. W. Clark (1984) and S. Subramanian (2020); study ed. by K. R. Dronamraju (1968).

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