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Patrick Bateson

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Name  Patrick Bateson
Role  Biologist

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People also search for  Paul Martin, Peter Gluckman, Peter Klopfer
Books  Measuring Behaviour, Play - Playfulness - Creativity, Plasticity - Robustness - Develop, Design for a Life, The Development and Integ

Education  University of Cambridge

Interview of professor sir patrick bateson part 1

Sir (Paul) Patrick Gordon Bateson, FRS (31 March 1938 – 1 August 2017) was an English biologist and science writer. Bateson was a professor of ethology at the University of Cambridge and president of the Zoological Society of London.


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Interview of professor sir patrick bateson part 2


Bateson was educated at Westminster School and the Kings College, Cambridge where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in zoology and a PhD for research on animal behaviour supervised by Robert Hinde.

Career and research

Bateson was a biologist who specialised in researching the behaviour of animals and how it is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Patrick was a world authority on imprinting in birds — the process of learning to recognise their parents and members of their own species — and his work led to new principles in behavioural development.

He devised original experiments that showed how characteristics of imprinting depend on the bird’s early life experiences. Patrick’s investigation of learning in birds has led to greater understanding of the neural basis of memory. He also had an interest in how developmental and behavioural processes influence evolution.

Patrick was concerned with the ethics of using animals in research and the analysis of animal pain and suffering. This led to a study into the effects on red deer of hunting with hounds, an inquiry into dog breeding and a review of the use of animals in research.

Previous academic positions include a Harkness Fellowship at Stanford University and ten years as head of the Cambridge sub-department of Animal Behaviour. Bateson retired as the biological secretary to the Royal Society after five years and Provost of King's College, Cambridge after fifteen years in 2003. He retired from his Cambridge Chair in 2005.

Bateson published on such topics as ethology, animal welfare, behavioral development and evolution. He also gave public lectures and broadcasts.

Awards and honours

Bateson was knighted in 2003. He received an Honorary ScD degree from the University of St Andrews and an Honorary Fellowship from Queen Mary University of London. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1983.

Personal life

Bateson's grandfather's cousin was the geneticist William Bateson, and his daughter is Melissa Bateson, also a professor of ethology, at Newcastle University. Bateson was an atheist. He died on 1 August 2017 at the age of 79.


Patrick Bateson Wikipedia