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The biddies of Harvard


My interests in evolutionary and developmental biology
John Bonner Scientist
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There wasn't any, except at the very end, there wasn't any course. So I did a lot of reading. And even - I would not advise any 15-year-old to do this - but read Origin of the Species, which I found extremely difficult reading. Now it's not so bad. So I obviously was thinking of that specifically, of Darwinism and evolution, and my first interests of that sort were in evolutionary biology, and not in developmental. And I really only became involved in developmental biology when I was my in my freshman year at college. But then, one of the things that I did was to try and bring the two together. I wrote a small book once called, Evolution of Development. That was a new direction for me, and one which is sort of the foundation of everything I did later on.

John Tyler Bonner (born in 1920) is an emeritus professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He is a pioneer in the use of cellular slime molds to understand evolution and development and is one of the world's leading experts on cellular slime molds. He says that his prime interests are in evolution and development and that he uses the cellular slime molds as a tool to seek an understanding of those twin disciplines. He has written several books on developmental biology and evolution, many scientific papers, and has produced a number of works in biology. He has led the way in making Dictyostelium discoideum a model organism central to examining some of the major questions in experimental biology.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Origin of the Species

Duration: 1 minute, 27 seconds

Date story recorded: February 2016

Date story went live: 14 September 2016