Meet Jon Beckwith, Ph.D.

Jon Beckwith, PhD, American Cancer Society Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School. The Beckwith Lab A leader in genetic research who emphasizes a commitment to science and ethics Professor Beckwith is a leading researcher in genetics. Among the many achievements of his group is the isolation of the first gene from a bacterial chromosome in 1969. Other contributions include the discovery of the mechanisms of protein secretion and cell division.

Jon Beckwith appeared on SftPublic’s Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations October 07, 2014 to discuss Genetics and Social Responsibility, the subject of his book Making Genes, Making Waves (Harvard Univ Press, 2002). Throughout his career, Dr. Beckwith has also been a major voice for educating the public and the broader science community about the social implications of genetic science. He spoke out early against the testing of boys for XYY chromosomes and was a member of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Committee of the Human Genome Project initiated by James D. Watson. He has worked on issues of social responsibility in science and since 1983 has taught a course on the Social Issues in Biology at Harvard University, one of the first of its kind.

Distinctions and Awards