HONORARY FELLOWS LECTURE – What is epigenetics? And is it important? – Sir David Baulcombe, Royal Society Edward Penley Abraham Research Professor, Department of Plant Sciences 18.00 – 19.00

February 26, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre
Department of Chemistry

“Epigenetics has always been all the weird and wonderful things that can’t be explained by genetics.”
Denise Barlow (Vienna, Austria)

Some of these ‘weird and wonderful things’ challenge Mendel’s laws of inheritance and they have prompted suggestions that there may even be some epigenetic inheritance of acquired characteristics, as proposed by Lamarck.

In my lecture I will assess these suggestions using evidence based on recent advances in epigenetics. Most of my examples are with plants but, because Mendel showed us that peas can inform thinking about inheritance in people, we can, perhaps, use these green findings to guide thinking about epigenetic inheritance more generally.