The Genetics Society

The Genetics Society is a British learned society. It was founded by William Bateson and Edith Rebecca Saunders in 1919 and celebrated its centenary year in 2019. It is therefore one of the oldest learned societies devoted to genetics. Its membership of over 2000 consists of most of the UK's active professional geneticists, including researchers, teachers and students.[1] Industry and publishing are also represented in the membership.

The Genetics Society
Genetics Society Logo.gif
Logo of the Genetics Society
TypeLearned Society
Headquarters1 Naoroji Street
Region served
United Kingdom
Official language
Anne Ferguson-Smith

The Genetics Society is a registered charity that organises scientific meetings to promote current research in genetics and genomics, and publishes primary research in genetics in the journals Heredity and Genes and Development. It supports students to attend meetings, sponsors research through fieldwork grants and student bursaries, and promotes the public understanding of genetics.

Presidents of The Genetics Society[2]Edit

Years President
2021-2024 Anne Ferguson-Smith, FRS
2018-2021 Laurence Hurst, FRS
2015–2018 Wendy Bickmore, FRS
2012–2015 Enrico Coen, FRS
2009-2012 Veronica van Heyningen, FRS
2006-2009 Brian Charlesworth, FRS
2003-2006 Jonathan Hodgkin, FRS
2000-2003 Linda Partridge, FRS
1997-2000 Michael Ashburner, FRS
1994-1997 David John Sherratt, FRS
1990-1994 Paul Nurse, PRS
1987-1990 Noreen Murray, FRS
1984-1987 David Hopwood, FRS
1981-1984 John L Jinks, FRS
1978-1981 John Fincham, FRS
1975-1978 John Thoday, FRS
1973-1975 Ralph Riley, FRS
1971-1973 William Hayes, FRS
1968-1971 Dan Lewis (geneticist) FRS
1966-1968 Charlotte Auerbach, FRS
1964-1966 Guido Pontecorvo, FRS
1961-1964 David Catcheside, FRS
1958-1961 CH Waddington, FRS
1955-1958 Lionel Penrose, FRS
1952-1955 Sydney Harland, FRS
1949-1952 Kenneth Mather, FRS
1946-1949 EB Ford, FRS
1943-1946 CD Darlington, FRS
1940-1943 Ronald Fisher, FRS
1938-1940 Francis Albert Eley Crew, FRS
1936-1938 Miss ER Saunders, FRHS
1932-1936 JBS Haldane, FRS
1930-1932 Reginald Punnett, FRS
1919-1930 Arthur Balfour, FRS

Society publicationsEdit

The society publishes the journal Heredity in association with Nature Publishing Group and the journal Genes & Development in association with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.[3] It also publishes The Genetics Society Newsletter and the Naked Genetics and Genetics Unzipped (the latter hosted by Kat Arney) podcasts.

Medals and prizesEdit

Mendel MedalEdit

The Mendel Medal is named after Gregor Mendel (1822–84), famous for his experiments on heredity in peas and founder of genetics as a scientific discipline. The Mendel Medal is awarded by the President of the Genetics Society, usually twice within the President’s term of office, to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to research in any field of genetics.

Year Recipient
2021 Linda Partridge
2019 William G. Hill
2018 Mary-Claire King
2017 David Baulcombe
2015 John Doebley
2013 Stanislas Leibler
2012 Eric Lander
2010 Susan Lindquist
2009 Wen-Hsiung Li
2008 Matthew Meselson
2007 H. Robert Horvitz
2006 David Weatherall
2004 Chris R. Somerville
2003 Mary F. Lyon
2002 Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
2001 Leland H. Hartwell
2000 James Watson
1999 Eric F. Wieschaus
1998 David Hopwood
1998 Charles Weissmann
1997 Elliot Meyerowitz
1994 Seymour Benzer
1992 Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
1991 Ira Herskowitz
1989 Piotr Słonimski
1987 Alec Jeffreys
1985 John Maynard Smith
1984 Alan Robertson
1981 Walter Bodmer
1979 Guido Pontecorvo
1977 Charlotte Auerbach
1974 Dan Lewis (geneticist)
1972 C. D. Darlington
1970 Sydney Brenner
1968 Max Delbrück
1966 Francis Crick
1965 William Hayes
1962 François Jacob
1960 C. H. Waddington
1958 George Wells Beadle

Balfour LectureEdit

The Balfour Lecture, named after the Genetics Society’s first President, is an award to mark the contributions to genetics of an outstanding young investigator.[4] The Balfour Lecturer is elected by the Society’s Committee on the basis of nominations made by any individual member of the Society. The only conditions are that the recipient of the award must normally have less than 10 years’ postdoctoral research experience at the time of nomination, and that any nomination must be made with the consent of the nominee. Those making nominations must be members of the Genetics Society, but there is no requirement for the nominee to be a member, nor is there any restriction on nationality or residence.

Year Recipient
2021 Alison Wright
2020 Sarah Flanagan
2019 Susan Johnston
2018 Ludmil Alexandrov
2017 Andrew J. Wood
2016 Felicity C. Jones
2014 Elizabeth Murchison
2013 Simon Myers
2012 Örjan Carlborg
2011 Mohan Madan Babu
2010 Andrew P Jackson
2009 Matthew Hurles
2008 Daven Presgraves
2007 Miltos Tsiantis
2006 Olivier Voinnet
2005 Mario de Bono
2004 Gilean McVean
2003 Frank Uhlmann
2002 Adam Eyre-Walker
2001 Sally J. Leevers
2000 Daniel G. Bradley
1999 Darren G. Monckton
1998 Colin Stirling
1997 Wendy Bickmore
1996 Robin Allshire
1995 Daniel St Johnston
1994 John Todd
1993 Nick Barton
1992 William R. A. Brown
1991 Philip Ingham
1990 Paul Eggleston
1989 Ian J. Jackson
1988 Enrico Coen

Genetics Society MedalEdit

The Genetics Society Medal [5] is an award that recognizes outstanding research contributions to genetics. The Medal recipient, who should still be active in research at the time the Medal is awarded, will be elected annually by the Genetics Society Committee on the basis of nominations made by any individual member of the Society. Those making nominations must be members of the Genetics Society, but there is no requirement for the nominee to be a member, nor any restriction on nationality or residence. Neither current members of the Committee nor those who have retired from office in the past four years may be nominated for the award. The recipient is invited to deliver a lecture at a Genetics Society meeting, where the medal will be awarded, in the year following their election.

Year Recipient
2021 David Sherratt
2020 Peter Donnelly
2019 Deborah Charlesworth
2018 Michael W. Bevan
2017 Marisa Bartolomei
2016 Ottoline Leyser
2015 Alan Ashworth
2014 Jonathan Flint
2013 Robin Allshire
2012 Stephen West
2011 Jonathan Hodgkin
2010 Laurence Hurst
2009 Steve Brown
2008 Nicholas Hastie
2007 Caroline Dean
2006 Michael Ashburner
2005 Phil Ingham

JBS Haldane LectureEdit

The JBS Haldane Lecture,[6] named in honour of the pioneering geneticist and evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane, recognises an individual for outstanding ability to communicate topical subjects in genetics research, widely interpreted, to an interested lay audience. Awards are made annually and are presented at an open lecture given by the awardee.

Year Recipient
2021 Matthew Cobb[7]
2020 Jonathan Pettitt
2019 Giles Yeo
2018 Turi King
2017 Enrico Coen
2016 Aoife McLysaght
2015 Alison Woollard
2014 Armand Marie Leroi
2013 Mark Henderson

Mary Lyon MedalEdit

This new award,[8] named after the distinguished geneticist Mary F. Lyon FRS, was established in 2015 to reward outstanding research in genetics to scientists who are in the middle of their research career.

Year Recipient
2021 Julian Knight
2020 Alastair Wilson
2019 Oliver Pybus
2018 Sarah Teichmann
2017 Petra Hajkova
2016 Duncan Odom
2015 Loeske Kruuk

Sir Kenneth Mather Memorial PrizeEdit

The Sir Kenneth Mather Memorial Prize[9] is awarded jointly by The Genetics Society and The University of Birmingham and rewards a student of any UK University or Research Institution who has shown outstanding performance in the area of quantitative or population genetics.

Academic Year Recipient Institute Joint recipient Institute
2019/20 Rosa Cheesman Kings College London
2018/19 Gonçalo Faria University of St. Andrews
2017/18 Rosina Savisaar University of Bath
2016/17 Danag Crysnanto University of Edinburgh
2015/16 Jessica King University of Edinburgh
2014/15 Robert Power Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Population Health
2013/14 Tom Booker University of Edinburgh Simon Martin University of Cambridge
2012/13 Laura Corbin Roslin Institute Xiachi Xin University of Edinburgh
2011/12 Holly Trochet University of Edinburgh
2010/11 Ben Longdon University of Edinburgh Gibran Hemani Roslin Institute
2009/10 Kay Boulton University of Edinburgh
2008/09 Kreepa Kooblall University of Birmingham
2007/08 Mark Adams University of Edinburgh


  1. ^ "About Us - Genetics Society". 1919-06-25. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  2. ^ "History - Genetics Society". 1919-06-25. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  3. ^ Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press: About Genes & Development
  4. ^ "Mary Lyon Medal 2017 - Petra Hajkova - Genetics Society". 2017-11-21. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  5. ^ "Genetics Society Medal - Genetics Society". Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  6. ^ "Balfour Lecturer 2017 - Dr Andrew wood - Genetics Society". Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  7. ^ "JBS Haldane lecture 2021 – Matthew Cobb". The Genetics Society. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Mary Lyon Medal - Genetics Society". Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  9. ^ "Sir Kenneth Mather Memorial Prize - Genetics Society". Retrieved 2018-09-16.