Jon Beckwith, Ph.D.

Jon Beckwith, PhD, American Cancer Society Professor, Dept of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School.


In his appearance on SftPublic's Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations (October 07, 2014), Jon Beckwith discusses his work as a leading researcher in genetics and his social activism, especially his commitment to promoting ethics considerations in genetic engineering.

Professor Beckwith's book, Making Genes, Making Waves (Harvard Univ Press, 2002), presents this dual development, and includes his famous dispute against claims that the XYY chromosome was an indicator of criminality. Dr. Beckwith's story will convince readers that we depend on both scientists and an aware general public to challenge dubious research.

Among the many achievements of Professor Beckwith's research group is the isolation of the first gene from a bacterial chromosome in 1969. Other contributions include the mechanisms of protein secretion, disulfide bond formation, and cell division.