Vivian Moses

Vivian Moses

Fellow: Awarded 1967
Field of Study: Molecular and Cellular Biology

Competition: US & Canada

Education: University of California, Berkeley

In 1967, Vivian Moses was a senior scientist in the Laboratory of Chemical Biodynamics at the University of California, Berkeley.  Following his fellowship period in Oxford, he was in 1971 appointed Professor of Microbiology at Queen Mary College, University of London, a post he retained until formal retirement in 1993.

During his tenure of the chair he became progressively more involved with the new and rapidly developing field of biotechnology, organizing, co-authoring, and jointly editing the major textbook Biotechnology – The Science and the Business (1991; 2d ed., 1999), in which engineering, commercial, and legal considerations were discussed alongside the science.  Also during that period he co-founded Archæus Ltd., a small biotechnology start-up company exploring the use of microbiology for improving the recovery of crude oil from reservoirs. 

In the 1990s he was life sciences editor for the (now defunct) magazine Science Spectra while continuing his biotechnology activities.  In 1996 he co-founded The Centre for Genetic Anthropology at University College London and served as its director for ten years.  Between 1997 and 2008 he conceived and coordinated three major European Union projects on biotechnology and its relationship with the general public.  Since 1999 he has been chairman of CropGen, a consumer and media information initiative helping to achieve a greater measure of realism and better balance in the UK’s public discussions on biotechnology in agriculture and food; in that capacity he has addressed many public and private meetings as well as participating dozens of times in radio and television programs.

Having for many years recognized the immense significance of the Bio-Organic chemistry group of scientists and their colleagues in Berkeley (later becoming Chemical Biodynamics), he and his wife, Sheila, in 1996-97 undertook an oral history of the group, interviewing more than fifty people who had been isturmental in the development of the laboratory in its early postwar and main developmental period, from 1945 to 1963.  Transcriptions of those interviews are now online at a University of California website.

Vivian Moses holds a B.A. (1949) and an M.A. (1955) in biochemistry from Cambridge as well as a Ph.D. (1953) and a D.Sc. (1971) in microbiology from University College London.  Currently he is Visiting Professor of Biotechnology, King’s College London, and Visiting Professor of Biology, University College London, as well as Emeritus Professor of Microbiology, Queen Mary College, University of London.

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