“…O brave new world,/That has such people in’t!”*

*from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” (V, i)

Bill Bryson, in A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003) Chapter Sixteen:

…(John Scott) Haldane was born in 1860 to an aristocratic Scottish family (his brother was Viscount Haldane), but spent most of his career in comparative modesty as a professor of physiology at Oxford. He was famously absent-minded…Aldous Huxley, the novelist grandson of T.H.Huxley, who lived with the Haldanes for a time, parodied him, a touch mercilessly, as the scientist Edward Tantamount in the novel Point Counter Point.

Haldane’s gift to diving was to work out the rest intervals necessary to manage an ascent from the depths without getting the bends, but his interests ranged across the whole of physiology, from studying altitude sickness in climbers to the problems of heatstroke in desert regions…

(Though) Haldane’s son Jack, known to posterity as J.B.S.,…never took a degree in science,…he became a brilliant scientist in his own right, mostly working for the government at Cambridge…Huxley parodied the younger Haldane too, in his novel Antic Hay, but also used his ideas on genetic manipulation of humans as the basis for the plot of Brave New World. Among many other achievements, Haldane played a central role in marrying Darwinian principles of evolution to the genetic work of Gregor Mendel to produce what is known to geneticists as the Modern Synthesis.”

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