Alec Jeffreys wins this year's Edinburgh Medal

Posted by mjs76 at Mar 08, 2010 01:25 PM |
Congratulations to our own Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys who has been named as the recipient of this year’s Edinburgh Medal, awarded to those people in science and technology “who have made a significant contribution to the understanding and well-being of humanity.”

The Edinburgh Medal is presented annually at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the largest and oldest public celebration of science in Europe. Previous winners include such legendary names as Stephen J Gould, Heinz Wolff, Sir David Attenborough and James Lovelock.

Sir Alec, of course, discovered genetic fingerprinting. Or rather, he discovered inherited human variation in DNA, the scientific advance from which the technology and process of genetic fingerprinting was developed. Sir Alec’s breakthrough came in 1974 when he was working at the University of Leicester – and he still works here, teaching students in our Department of Genetics.

The Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from 3 to 17 April 2010. Sir Alec will receive the medal on 14 April when he gives a talk on ‘Genetic fingerprinting: a model of scientific serendipity’. The venue is the Royal College of Physicians in Queen Street; start time is 6.30pm; tickets are £8 (£6 concessions) and can be ordered online.