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Francisco Ayala

Francisco Ayala

Francisco J. Ayala is the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. He has been President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Darwin's Discovery: Design without Designer

Born in Madrid, Spain, he has lived in the United States since 1961, and became a U.S. citizen in 1971. He is author of more than 650 articles and twelve books. The books include Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1995), Modern Genetics (2nd ed., 1984), Population and Evolutionary Genetics: A Primer (1982), Evolving: The Theory and Processes of Organic Evolution (1979), Evolution (1977), Molecular Evolution (1976), and Studies in the Philosophy of Biology (1974).

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society; fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the California Academy of Sciences. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow (twice).

Ayala has received the Gold Honorary Gregor Mendel Medal from the Czech Academy of Sciences, the President's Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the AAAS, the Medal of the College of France, and the UCI Medal from the University of California. He has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Athens (Greece), Barcelona, Leon, Madrid, Vigo, and Las Islas Baleares (Spain). He is a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and the Latin American Institute for Advanced Studies.

He has been President of the Society for the Study of Evolution, a member of the Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the National Advisory Council of the Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH), the National Advisory Council for the Human Genome Project, the Executive Committee of the Science Advisory Board of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Commission on Life Sciences, and the Board on Basic Biology (Chairman, 1985-1992) of the National Research Council. He served as expert witness in the Arkansas trial on the teaching of evolution (December 1981).

He is a frequent lecturer in universities and other institutions in the United States and elsewhere, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Peru, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia.

His research focusses on population and evolutionary genetics, including the origin of species, genetic diversity of populations, the origin of malaria, the population structure of parasitic protozoa, and the molecular clock of evolution. He also writes about the interface between religion and science, and on philosophical issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and the philosophy of biology.

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Francisco Ayala

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