Reflections of a Biologist

Off-Beat Biologist: The Autobiography of Alan S. Parkes. Alan S. Parkes. The Galton Foundation, Cambridge, UK, 1985. 444 pp., illus. $30, £20. "Early in 1982, at the age of eighty-one, I set out in my usual spirit of 'have a go' to write a full-scale autobiography." An ebullient readiness to "have a go" at new challenges or opportunities, regardless of his formal or experiential qualifications for the task, typified Sir Alan Parkes' attitude in personal and professional life. This characte

Frank Beach
Mar 8, 1987
Off-Beat Biologist: The Autobiography of Alan S. Parkes. Alan S. Parkes. The Galton Foundation, Cambridge, UK, 1985. 444 pp., illus. $30, £20.


"Early in 1982, at the age of eighty-one, I set out in my usual spirit of 'have a go' to write a full-scale autobiography." An ebullient readiness to "have a go" at new challenges or opportunities, regardless of his formal or experiential qualifications for the task, typified Sir Alan Parkes' attitude in personal and professional life. This characteristic, plus high intelligence and seemingly unlimited capacity for work, made him a Fellow of the Royal Society at age 32 and brought him international recognition as a pioneer contributor in two fields of endeavor.

In his role as a biologist, Parkes made highly significant contributions to the infant science of reproductive endocrinology. In an extension of his scientific interests, he became an active proponent of family planning and population control...