- promoting the study of biosocial sciences -

History of The Parkes Foundation


The Foundation

This educational charity (originally called The Galton Foundation) was founded in 1968 by Professor Sir Alan Parkes FRS on his retirement from the Mary Marshall Chair in Physiology of Reproduction, at the University of Cambridge. Sir Alan Parkes was the Chairman of the Galton Foundation from its inception until 1986 when he resigned. ('A memoir of Sir Alan Parkes', 2006)

Professor Geoffrey Ainsworth Harrison, Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of Oxford, succeeded him in preparation for the establishment of the Parkes Foundation, through the amalgamation of the Galton Foundation and the ET and R Parkes Fund. The Parkes Foundation came into being in 1987 with Professor Harrison continuing as Chairman until his resignation in 1998. Since then, Professor C G Nicholas Mascie-Taylor, Professor of Human Population Biology and Health, University of Cambridge, has been the Chairman.

The aim of the Parkes Foundation is to promote the study of biosocial science, the interdisciplinary area between the biological and social sciences. Initially this was effected through the Journal of Biosocial Science, which started in 1969, and published original research papers. The Journal was run for a number of years by the Biosocial Society but is now owned and run by Cambridge University Press (since 1996).

The Parkes Foundation exists as an independent grant-making charity, providing funds each year to help postgraduate (both Masters and PhD) students undertake research in the interdisciplinary field of biosocial science. It also organises an annual Harrison Lecture in honour of Professor GA Harrison.


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