Authorised form of namePollock; Martin Rivers (1914 - 1999)
ForenamesMartin Rivers
Dates1914 - 1999
Dates and placesBirth:
10 December 1914
21 December 1999
ActivityResearch Field:
Bacteriology, molecular biology
Winchester College; Trinity College, Cambridge, Senior Scholarship (1936); University College Hospital Medical School, London (1937-1939) MB, BChir (1940)
Hospital appointments at University College Hospital and Brompton Chest Hospital (1939-1941); joined (1941) as Bacteriologist, Emergency Public Health Service (during WW2); seconded to Medical Research Council to work on infective hepatitis (1943-45); seconded (1943) to a Medical Research Council unit to work on infective hepatitis. In 1945 he was formally taken onto the staff of the Medical Research Council. He worked at the MRC National Institute of Medical Research, Mill Hill (1945) initially under Sir Paul Fildes, then became Head, Division of Bacterial Physiology (1949-1965) with two periods spent working at the laboratory of Jacques Monod, Institut Pasteur, Paris (1948, 1952-1953); appointed Professor of Biology at Edinburgh (1965); created first teaching department for molecular biology in Britain, with Professor Bill Hayes, Edinburgh University(1965). In the 1970's he became interrested in developments in biotechnology and artificial intelligence, encouraging interdepartmental cooperation in htose areas. He took early retirement (1976) and moved to Dorset. Maintained his growing interest in the relationship between science and art, organising a major conference 'Conference on Common Denominators in Art and Science' at the University of Edinburgh on the subject in 1981, but took no further active part in scientific research. He gave the Louis Rapkine Lecture at the University of Paris in 1960, the 1970 Griffith Memorial Lecture of the Society for General Microbiology on 'The discovery of DNA', and the 1975 JD Bernal Peace Library lecture on 'Freedom in Science'. He helped to establish the Louis Rapkine Association, and was a founder member of the Society for General Microbiology. His political concerns were reflected in his active support for the British Society for Social Responsibility for Science and to two bodies associeted with it, the Working Group on International Responsibility of Scientists (of which Pollock was the convenor) and the Edinburgh Society for Social Responsibility in Science (ESSRS), particularly a teach-in on Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW) at Edinburgh University in January 1969. The issue of CBW remained an issue of his thereafter.
Royal Society activityMembership:
Election Date:
RelationshipsSon of Hamilton Rivers Pollock and Eveline Morton Pollock; married 1) Jean Paradise (2 sons, 2 daughters); 2) Janet
Guardian (obituary) 17 February 2000
Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 2002 vol 48 pp 357-373, plate, by R P Ambler and Sir Kenneth Murray FRS
NCUACS 111/10/02 Papers deposited Special Collections Division, Edinburgh University Library
Royal Society codeNA1513
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
HWT/24/2/2Correspondence and papers regarding Royal Society policy subsequent to the Russian invasion of CzechoslovakiaAugust 1968 - December 1969
IM/GA/WRS/9605Pollock, Martin Riversnd
IM/GA/SGRS/8339Pollock, Martin Rivers1984
EC/1962/18Pollock, Martin Rivers: certificate of election to the Royal Society
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