PERSONAL: Born in Corsham, Wiltshire, England; son of William John (a designer, company director, and chartered engineer) and Cicely Beryl Pryn (Biddick) Ford; married to Janice May Smith (a former high school governor); children: Anthony John, Stuart Pryn, Sarah Rose Pryn, Tamsin Emily May; (foster children) Lee Roy Mills, Timothy James Havard. Education: Undergraduate at University of Wales, University College, Cardiff, 1959-61. Fellow, Open University, 1999-2001. Avocational interests: Travel (Europe, Scandinavia, United States, Canada, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Borneo and China; Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands), award-winning photographer, playing rhythm-and-blues piano and keyboards with a rock band.
ADDRESSES: Work OUBS, Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, England, and Institute of Biology, 20 Queensberry place, London SW7 5DZ, England
CAREER: Medical Research Council of Wales, junior research assistant, 1958- 59; independent research scientist, writer and television host, 1961-. British Broadcasting Corp., radio science broadcaster, beginning in 1962; regional television contributor, beginning in 1963, chairperson of the television program Where Are You Taking Us?, 1974; Independent Television, science broadcaster, beginning in 1966. Science Now (BBC program), founder and presenter, 1975-76; The Fund (film), director and presenter, 1976; Channel 4 Television, London, presenter of Food for Thought, 1984-85; Computer Challenge (BBC television game show), host, 1986-87; guest on British television programs and Hollywood documentaries; featured in presentations in Japan, Sweden, France, Germany and internationally on satellite. College of Art and Design, Newport, England, lecturer in science and art, 1965-66; Foreign and Commonwealth Office, visiting lecturer for British Council Division, 1978; National University of Wales, University College, Cardiff, fellow, 1986, and member of court of governors since 1987; University of Kent at Canterbury, honorary member of Keynes College, 1988; guest lecturer at universities world-wide. Member of advisory boards, McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, IL, and New York Academy of Sciences. National Book League, member of Council, 1983-86. Royal Literary Fellow, the Open University, England, 1999-2001.
FORMER MEMBER: International Society of Protozoologists (US), European Academy for Sciences, Arts and Humanities (France).
MEMBER: European Union of Science Journalists (president 1984-86), Society of Authors (founding chairperson of Scientific and Technical Authors' Committee 1985), Royal Microscopical Society (fellow 1963), Royal Society of Health (deputy chairperson of nutrition, 1988-90), Association of British Science Writers, Institute of Biology (member 1981, member of Council 1995-1999; chairperson of History Network 1988-present), Cambridge Society for the Advancement of Research (member 1988, member of Council since 1998), Society for Basic Irreproducible Research (honorary member 1972), Linnean Society of London (fellow 1980; member of council 1993-1998; Zoological Secretary 1994-97; surveyor of scientific instruments since 1990), Cambridge Philosophical Society (fellow since 1989), Friends of Cambridge University Library (member 1988, member of Council since 1997), Quekett Microscopical Club, British Broadcasting Corporation Club, Architecture Club, Savage Club 1969-1989 (chair of entertainments, 1985; vice-chairperson, 1989), New York Academy of Sciences (since 1996).
AWARDS, HONORS: Italia Prize nomination, 1974, for BBC-TV program "Heart Attack"; fellowship from Institute of Biology, 1987; photographic awards include Royal Photographic Society, Royal Microscopical Society, Institute for Science Technology, American Microscopical Society; grants from Royal Society, Spencer-Tolles Fund, Appleyard Fund of the Linnean Society, and Botanical Research Fund. Awarded inaugural Kohler Medal by State Microscopical Society of Illinois, 1997. Special Achievement Award, Georgia Microscopical Society, 2000.
1967, Science Diary, 128pp.,
Letts: London (annual editions).
1969, German Secret Weapons - Blueprint for Mars, 160 pp, ISBN 0-345-24989-5-250, New York: Ballantine.
1970, Allied Secret Weapons: The War of Science, 160pp, ISBN 0-345-25892-4-250, New York: Ballantine.
1970, Microbiology and Food, illustrations and cover design by the Author, [hardback edition] 212pp, ISBN 0 950 1665 020X , London: Northwood.
1971, Nonscience and the Pseudotransmogrificationalific Egocentrified Proclivities Inherently Intracorporated In Expertistical Cerebrointellectualised Redeploymentation with Special Reference to Quasi-Notional Fashionistic Normativity, The Indoctrinationalistic Methodological Modalities and Scalar Socio-Economic Promulgationary Improvementalisationalism Predelineated Positotaxically Toward Individualistified Mass-Acceptance Gratificationalistic Securipermanentalisationary Professionism, or How To Rule The World, a quasi-official report, 206 pp, ISBN 0 7234 0449 6, London: Wolfe.
1973, The Optical Microscope Manual: Past and Present Uses and Techniques, 205pp, ISBN 0-7153-5862-6, Newton Abbott: David and Charles.
1973, The Earth Watchers, 190pp, ISBN 85632-020-X, London: Leslie Frewin.
1973, The Revealing Lens: Mankind and the Microscope, 208pp, ISBN 0-245-51016-8, London: George Harrap.
1976, Microbe Power - Tomorrow's Revolution 182pp, ISBN 0-356-08384-5, London: Macdonald and Janes.
1979, Patterns of Sex - the Mating Urge and our Sexual Future 205 pp, ISBN 0-354-04375-7, London: Macdonald and Janes.
1982, The Cult of the Expert, hardback edition, 194pp, ISBN 0-241-10476-9, London: Hamish Hamilton.
1983, 101 Questions about Science, 90pp, ISBN 0-241-10992-2, £6.95, London: Hamish Hamilton.
1984, 101 More Questions About Science, illustrated by Brian Bagnall, 90pp, ISBN 0-241-11246-X, £5.95, London: Hamish Hamilton.
1985, Single Lens, the Story of the Simple Microscope, 182 pp, ISBN 0-434-26844-5, London: William Heinemann, £9.95.
1985, Compute; How, Where, Why ... Do you really Need To? 115pp, ISBN 0-241-11490-X, £7.95, London: Hamish Hamilton.
1986, The Food Book, pp152, ISBN 0-241-11834-4, London: Hamish Hamilton.
1990, The Human Body, 62pp, ISBN 1 85561 013 2, London: Belitha Information Library.
1991, The Leeuwenhoek Legacy, 185pp, Bristol: Biopress, ISBN 0-948737-10-7 and London: Farrand Press, ISBN 1850-830-169.
1992, Images of Science - a History of Scientific Illustration, 208pp, ISBN 0-7123-0267-0, London: British Library.
1993, First Encyclopedia of Science, 157pp, ISBN 0-86272-944-0, London: Kingfisher Books.
1994, The New Guinness Book of Records Quiz Book, ISBN 0-85112-635-9, 128pp, £5.99, London: Guinness Publishing.
1996, BSE - The Facts, ISBN 0 552 14530 0, 208pp, £4.99, London: Corgi Books.
1999, Genes, the Fight for Life, 248pp ISBN 0-304-35019-2, £14.99. London, Cassells; New York, Sterling Publications. Available from the Amazon on-line bookstore.
1999, Sensitive Souls, 340pp, ISBN: 0 316 63956 7, London: Little, Brown.
2000, The Future of Food, 120pp, ISBN 0-500-28075-4, London and New York: Thames & Hudson.
2000, The Secret Language of Life, 320pp, ISBN 0-88064-254-8, New York: Fromm International.
2000, The First Fifty Years 135pp, ISBN 0 0900490 37 3 (h/b), 0 900490 38 1 (p/b), London: Institute of Biology.
Coauthor of the books The Recovery, Removal, and
Reconstruction of Human Skeletal Remains, 1970; History of
English-Speaking Peoples, 1971; The Cardiff Book,
Stewart Williams, 1973; Viral Pollution of the Environment,
CRC Press (Boca Raton, FL), 1983; Sex and Your Health,
Mitchell Beazley, (London, UK) 1985; John Hillaby, editor, Walking
in Britain, Collins, (London, UK) 1988. Andrew Hunter,
editor, Scientific Books, Libraries, and Collectors,
Quaritch (London, UK), 2000. Editor, The First Fifty Years
(History of the Institute of Biology), 2000.
Contributor to Purnell's History of the Second World War. Author of a weekly column, "Science and You," in South Wales Echo, c. 1958; contributor of columns to Listener, MIT Journal, and Mensa Journal. Contributor of articles and reviews to scientific journals, including Journal of Microscopy, New Scientist, British Medical Journal, Microscope, and Transactions of the American Microscopical Society, and to popular magazines and newspapers, including Times (London), Observer, Private Eye, and Guardian. Editor, Science Diary, 1967-79, and Broadcasting Bulletin, 1983-84; founding editor, STAG (science and technology newsletter), 1987- 88; contributing editor, European Biotechnology Newsletter, 1986-88; regional editor, Know Britain. Editorial Consultant to Guinness Book of Records (London, UK and New York City), 1989. Contributor to Encyclopoedia Britannica (Chicago, IL).
WORK IN PROGRESS: Pioneering research on falling leaves and plant excretion, emphasizing the "bioremediation" of contaminated soils. Microscopy and the development of the microscope. Innovation in science. His regular programs include Science Hour (LBC) and the annual Round Britain Quiz (BBC).
SIDELIGHTS: Brian J. Ford is a leading biologist who works internationally. Ford pioneered the public understanding of science and over 100 editions of his books have now been published. In England he was a newspaper columnist at 20, and brought pioneering science reports to radio and television. He introduced science to the popular music channels and the alternative press as well as to the mainstream media. He is a descendent of the inventor and scientist, Sir James Watt. Ford pioneered the concept of qualifying "areas of ignorance" as an adjunct to orthodox education and campaigns for a wider understanding of microorganisms in the environment. Among his innovations are the Leeuwenhoek specimens (dating from 1674, and marking the dawn of modern biology), human blood coagulation mechanisms, and his theory of plant excretophores, with work on criteria of selection, conquering jet lag, forensic science, forged photographs, pollution and the future of science widely cited in major textbooks. His 1996 book on BSE (mad cow disease) became the standard reference work for politicians and journalists, and in 2000 he published the first History of the Institute of Biology. He advises government departments and leading reference works such as the Guinness Book of Records and contributes to books including Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, and many eastern European languages including Polish, Estonian and Bulgarian. He travels widely, lecturing each year throughout the USA, and has won numerous awards. Commentators describe him as a master of the art of getting the message across. Ford is a popular meetings chairman and television personality, yet once told CA that he most likes to relax "with the family, celebrating the phenomenon of life."
Daily Express, 11 November 2000.
Daily Mail, November 9, 1989, 18 June 2000.
Daily Telegraph, December 7, 1984; November 3, 1989.
Discover, Volume 2, number 10, 1981.
Irish Press, October 30, 1971.
Journal of the History of Biology, summer, 1986.
Kirkus Reviews, vol 48, 1980, p. 766, 2000.
Mensa Magazine, June, 1986.
Microscopical Society of Southern California Newsletter, 4 (9): 182-88, September 1999.
Microscopy and Analysis: 55, September 2000.
Microscopy Today, 00 (5): 5, 2000.
Nature, December 3, 1971; February, 8, 1974; August 16, 1974; April 25, 1985.
New Scientist, January 20, 1983; March 7, 1985.
Punch, July 28, 1976.
Science Digest, March, 1982.
Scientific American, Volume 246, number 1, 1982; Volume 253, number 1, 1985.
Sunday Express, July 1, 1984.
Sunday Times, October 24, 1971; March 25, 1973.
Times (London), September 17, 1971; March 17, 1973; April 7, 1973.
Union Jack, November, 1986; September, 1987; March, 1989.
Washington Times, April 29, 1985.
Williams, Kenneth, [quotes BJF in] Back Drops: 8,
London: Futura Books, 1984.
Serebriakoff, Victor, describes Brian J Ford as brilliant autodidact [in] Mensa - the Society for the Highly Intelligent: 255, London: Constable, 1985.
Aldiss, Brian, describes Brian J Ford lecturing [in] Bury my Heart at W H Smiths: 118-119, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1990.
Parry-Jones, D., reports Brian J Ford on television (with photograph), Action Replay: 91-2, Cardiff: Gomer Press, 1993.
Spedding, Sir Colin, discusses Brian J Ford on innovation, Agriculture and the Citizen: 222-223, with table 16.1, London: Chapman and Hall, 1996.