Elected: 1971
Discipline: Cell and Molecular Biology
Dr Anne Laura McLaren DBE FRS FRSE
Dame Anne McLaren, who has died aged 80 in a car accident while travelling with her former husband Donald Michie from Cambridge to London, was one of Britain’s leading scientists in the fields of mammalian reproductive and developmental biology and genetics.

Her research in the basic science underlying the treatment of infertility helped develop several human-assisted reproduction techniques. Her work also helped further recognition of the importance of stem cells in the treatment of human disease. As she put it, she was interested in “everything involved in getting from one generation to the next”. Both of these areas raise serious ethical issues, and Anne was a leading contributor to the debates in the UK needed to develop acceptable public policy regulating them. Among her many honours, she was the first woman to hold office as vice-president and foreign secretary in the more than 300-year-old Royal Society.

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