Haldane in the mid-1930s.
Haldane agitating for the Communist Party.
Haldane (right) in the Black Watch circa 1915.
John Burdon Sanderson Haldane FRS
In his day Professor JBS Haldane was as well-known a scientist as one could hope to be.
Magazines paid handsomely for his articles explaining science to the general public. Collected in books, these continued to sell for years. When he voiced his classically-educated opinions, the newspapers listened, and the BBC transmitted them. Reckless physiological self-experimentation, learned from his father, created useful drama. 'Prof' had the sort of presence as a general science popularizer and skeptic that Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould came to command half a century later. But Haldane had a far broader scientific reach, and more panache. Technically, he was a mathematical population geneticist and evolutionary theorist, one of the founders of the New Synthesis which anchored Darwin to Mendel through statistical wizardry (impressive to those in the know, but an unpromising basis for broader fame). Along the way, he also took up communism.
Politics and Espionage
A detailed consideration of Haldane's politics and his involvement in Soviet espionage, based on previously ignored
sources, including MI5 files and the Haldane Archive at UCL. Published here in (mobile-friendly) HTML and PDF formats.
- Daedalus or Science and the Future. London: Kegan Paul, 1923; New York: Dutton, 1924.
- Callinicus: a Defence of Chemical Warfare. New York: Dutton, 1925.
- Possible Worlds and Other Essays. London: Chatto and Windus, 1927.
(thanks to Distributed Proofreaders).
- The Causes of Evolution. London: Longmans, 1932.
- The Inequality of Man and Other Essays. London: Chatto and Windus, 1932 [Penguin Reprint, 1938].
- Heredity and Politics London: Allen and Unwin, 1938
- Science and Everyday Life. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1939.
- A Banned Broadcast London: Chatto and Windus, 1946.
- Everything has a History London: Allen and Unwin, 1951.
- Unity and Diversity of Life: Sardar Patel Lectures Ministry of Information, Indian Government, 1958.
- Science and Life: Essays of a Rationalist. London: Pemberton, 1968.
- Selected Genetics Papers. New York: Garland, 1990.
(thanks to the
Wellcome Library - Creative Commons License)