Francisco J. Ayala

picture by Xiao Dai

Francisco J. Ayala was born Madrid in 1934. He obtained his doctorate from Columbia University in 1964 and, in 1987, was appointed with the title of "University Professor" at the University of California, Irvine, where he is engaged in research work and teaching biology. He is one of the most eminent Spanish scientists presently working in the field of evolutionary biology. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and member of the American Philosophical Society. He was scientific adviser to President Clinton and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishes the review Science. He has been awarded Doctor Honoris Causa degrees by some twenty universities in ten different countries and is a member of numerous academies of science, including that based in Madrid.

He has published more than forty books and written over 1,000 scientific articles. He was awarded the National Medal of Science (United States) and has received a great number of other prizes in different countries, including the Templeton Prize valued at one million pounds sterling, which was presented by the Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace on 5 May 2010.

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