Julian Huxley

1887 (London) – 1975 (London)

Huxley wanted to be remembered not as the notable scientist he was, but as a generalist. His grandfather T. H. Huxley gave him natural history lessons, and took him to meet Hooker. His aunt Ward helped look after him (and brother Aldous) after his mother’s death. He mentored Lorenz and Tinbergen, co-authored a book with Haldane, and joined Wells on a part-work. He agreed with Teilhard de Chardin about religion, gave Moore an elephant’s skull, and with Needham put the ‘S’ in UNESCO. Most of these and many more were friends; his correspondents ranged from Britten to Lévi-Strauss, Leakey to Warburg.

Julian Huxley knew…

Peter Medawar

1915 (Petrópolis, Brazil) – 1987 (London)

Medawar paved the way for transplant surgery, and was a brilliant writer about science. Young was his ‘very, very good’ tutor at Oxford. Medawar worked in Florey’s lab, meeting his wife-to-be there, and went and sat at the feet of Rous in America, Rous passing off Medawar’s over-consumption of cocktails as an allergy to pumpkin pie. He met the influential Hašek at an Amsterdam conference. Huxley and Ayer were both friends, and fellow-panelists on a popular radio programme. Among other good friends, Medawar was an influential supporter of Tinbergen’s work, while Perutz and Popper were regular guests at his home.

Peter Medawar knew…