Elected: 1968
Discipline: Unspecified at this time
Professor William Hayes FRSE
Bill Hayes came to Edinburgh in 1968 when he moved his MRC Microbial Genetics from Hammersmith Hospital to the newly formed Department of Molecular Biology which he and Martin Pollock had established together. He was delightful to know, a charming and always courteous colleague, an outstanding scholar and teacher, and his discovery of the sex factor in the bacterium Escherichia coli had established him as one of the great pioneers of modern molecular genetics.

Professor William Hayes was born on 18 January 1913 at Rathfarnham, Co Dublin, the only son of William Hayes, a very successful Dublin Pharmacist, and his second wife, Miriam, née Harris. The young William was still a child when his father died and he lived with his mother and grandmother and was educated at home by a governess, before going to a preparatory school in Dalkey and then to St Columba’s College at Rathfarnham, where his early interest in science began to develop through an experimental hobby in electronics, rather than in the classroom.

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