Chris J R Willmott

Personal Details

Chris WillmottAssociate Professor
Chris Willmott

DepartmentMolecular and Cell Biology
Telephone: 0116 229 7046
Address: Lancaster Rd, LE1 7HB
Web Links:


  • Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer), Department of Molecular and Cell Biology (formerly Biochemistry), University of Leicester,  (2006 - )
  • Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry, University of Leicester, (2000-2006)
  • Teacher of Science, Guilsborough School, Northamptonshire (1997-1999)
  • Regional Staffworker, Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (1992-1996)


  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences 2i University of Leicester (1989)
  • PhD Biochemistry University of Leicester (1993)
  • PGCE (Science) University of Leicester (1997)
  • MA Bioethics (Distinction) St Mary’s University College (2012)
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy Fellow of Staff and Educational Development Association (2018)


AwardYearAwarding Body
Outstanding Academic Title for Where Science and Ethics Meet: 
dilemmas at the frontiers of medicine and bioscience (jointly, with Dr S Macip)
2017 Choice Magazine
European Prize for the Popularisation of Science (jointly, with Dr S Macip) 2013 University of Valencia
National Bioscience Tutor of the Year (Runner up) 2013 Society of Biology
Learning on Screen Awards (Special Commendation) 2013 BUFVC
National Teaching Fellowship 2005 Higher Education Academy
University Teaching Fellowship 2003 University of Leicester


  • Bioethics, study skills and various aspects of protein biochemistry


Science Meets EthicsWillmott C and Macip S (2016) Where Science and Ethics Meet: Dilemmas at the frontiers of medicine and biology. Praeger Publishers Inc

“The most readable introductory bioethics book I have ever come across. Impressively up-to-date and informative, it grips the reader with its strong sense of narrative. Strongly recommended.”

Biological determinismWillmott C (2016) Biological Determinism, Free Will and Moral Responsibility: Insights from genetics and neuroscience. Springer Briefs in Ethics

“A remarkably lucid account of the relevance of science for the debate on free will and determinism… an impressive prudential approach, balancing the reliability of scientific achievement with caution about its applicability to criminal courts.”

Jugar 2015Macip S and Willmott C (2015) Jugar a Ser Dios: Los dilemas morales de la ciencia (Spanish). Universidad De Valencia
Jugar 2017

Macip S and Willmott C (2014; Second print 2017) Jugar a Ser Déus. Els dilemes morals de la ciència (Catalan). Bromera

"A gem. Interesting, entertaining. Recommended for all audiences.”

Book Chapters

  1. Green B and Willmott C (2013) The Cybermen and Human.2 in New Dimensions of Doctor Who: Exploring Space, Time and Television (Reading Contemporary Television), edited by Matt Hills. I B Tauris
  2. Green B and Willmott C (2011) “Ain’t We All the Same? Underneath, Ain’t We All Kin?” Humans, Daleks and the Species Problem in Doctor Who and Philosophy (Popular Culture and Philosophy), edited by CG Lewis and P Smithka, pp 99-110 -    (pre-publication proofs in Leicester research archive)
  3. Willmott CJR (2011) Bioethics in Effective Learning in the Life Sciences: how students can achieve their full potential, edited by DJ Adams, pp 175-194. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell -    (See Authors final draft)

Other Publications

  1. Willmott C (2016) Science on screen Viewfinder 103:12-13
  2. Willmott CJR (2015) Teaching bioethics via the production of student-generated videos Journal of Biological Education 49:127-138
  3. Willmott C (2015) Putting the moving image to work in biochemistry education The Biochemist 37(6):29-31
  4. Willmott C (2014) Boxing clever – television as a teaching tool Times Higher Education (28th August 2014)
  5. Willmott C (2013) Headline Bioethics: Engagement with bioethics in the news Bioscience Education 21:3-6
  6. Willmott C (2012) Life after biochemistry – developing careers advice for undergraduates The Biochemist 34(4):4-6
  7. Willmott C (2011) The ethics of being a scientist, in Ethics in the biosciences: Resources, references and tools for ethics teaching in the biosciences. Edited by K Clark K, C Willmott, J Bryant, S Meskin, J Peacock and S Maw. Leeds, UK: UK Centre for Bioscience
  8. Willmott CJR (2011) “Here’s one we prepared earlier”: involving former students in careers advice Bioscience Education 18-3SE
  9. Willmott CJR (2011) Introduction to experimental design: can you smell fear? Journal of Biological Education 45:102-105
  10. Green B, Willis D and Willmott C (2009) Sharing the vision: exploiting Web 2.0 technologies in promoting the use of multimedia in bioethics education Conference Proceedings of 7th and 8th International DIVERSE Conference, p.40-44
  11. Willmott C and Badge J (2008) Ethics and Plagiarism: helping students write right The Biochemist 30(6):12-15
  12. Willmott C and Willis D (2008) The increasing significance of ethics in the bioscience curriculum Journal of Biological Education 42:99-102
  13. Bevan R, Badge J, Cann A, Willmott C and Scott J (2008) Seeing eye-to-eye? Staff and student views on feedback Bioscience Education E-journal12-1
  14. Willmott C (2007) ‘You have 45 minutes, starting from now’: helping students develop their exam essay skills Bioscience Education E-journal 9-C2
  15. Willmott C (2007) Bioethics and media in education Viewfinder 69:6-7
  16. Willmott C (2007) As seen on TV: using video clips in science teachingProceedings of the Science Learning and Teaching Conference 2007, p.300-302
  17. Kramer C, Barber R, Cashmore A, Dalgleish R, Suter-Giorgini N and Willmott C (2007) Linking DNA structure and sequencing using model based learning Proceedings of the Science Learning and Teaching Conference 2007, p.107-109
  18. Willmott C (2006) Do we assume too much? (editorial) Bioscience Education E-journal 8-0
  19. Willmott C (2006) Assessing feedback and offering feedback on assessment (editorial) Bioscience Education E-journal 7-0
  20. Willmott C (2006) Never again shout “That WOULD have been useful for my teaching at the TV Bioscience Education E-journal 7-C1
  21. Willmott C (2005) Why do we do what we do? (editorial) Bioscience Education E-journal 6-0
  22. Willmott C (2005) What makes the best learning experience? Bioscience Education E-journal 5-C1
  23. Willmott C and Bryant J (2005) Engaging with the ethical implications of science Proceedings of the Science Learning and Teaching Conference 2005, p.85-89
  24. Willmott C (2005) Lost in e-space? (editorial) Bioscience Education E-journal 5-0
  25. Willmott C (2005) A contextualised writing programme for biological scientists Conference Proceedings, Writing Development in Higher Education: Valuing and Evaluating Writing in Higher Education; Sheffield, May 2004, proceedings published 2005
  26. Willmott C (2004) Stronger together (editorial) Bioscience Education E-journal 4-0
  27. Willmott C (2004) All systems go here at admissions control Times Higher Education Supplement (August 27th, p. 22) Opinion piece on being an Admissions Tutor
  28. Willmott CJR and Wellens J (2004) Teaching about bioethics through authoring of websites Journal of Biological Education 39:27-31
  29. Willmott CJR, Bond AN, Bryant JB, Maw SJ, Sears HJ and Wilson JM (2004) Teaching ethics to bioscience students – a survey of undergraduate provision Bioscience Education E-journal 3-9
  30. Willmott CJR, Clark RP and Harrison TM (2003) Introducing undergraduate students to scientific reports Bioscience Education E-journal1-10
  31. Willmott CJR and Harrison TM (2003) An exercise to teach students about plagiarism Journal of Biological Education 37:139-140
  32. Willmott CJR (2001) Revision bingo Biochemical and Molecular Biology Education 29:193-195
  33. Willmott CJR (1999) Anyone for bingo? School Science Review 81:119-121
  34. Willmott CJR (1998) An introduction to the polymerase chain reaction School Science Review 80:49-54
  35. Willmott CJR, Critchlow S, Eperon IC and Maxwell A (1994) The complex of DNA gyrase and quinolone drugs with DNA forms a barrier to transcription by RNA polymerase Journal of Molecular Biology 242:351-363
  36. Willmott CJR and Maxwell A (1993) A single point mutation in the DNA gyrase A protein greatly reduces binding of fluoroquinolones to the gyrase-DNA complex Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 37:126-127


Chris has research interests in bioethics and in aspects of teaching, particularly technology- enhanced learning. He has current projects investigating the use of broadcast media in teaching, representations of bioscience in the media, and on innovative uses of “lecture capture” technology.

His bioethics interests are varied, but include the implications of developments in genetics and neuroscience for criminal responsibility (sometimes known as “neurolaw”). This was the theme of his 2016 book Biological Determinism, Free Will and Moral Responsibility: Insights from genetics and neuroscience.

His PhD was on resistance to quinolone antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin). He retains an interest in this area but is no longer conducting experiments in this field.


Would welcome enquiries about bioethics and/or the representation of bioscience in broadcast media


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