Tuesday, 15 September 2015

That's him! Harold Munro Fox. A personal mystery solved fifty years later

Sometime early in 1965 I went for an interview for an overseas scholarship (overseas ones were funded by NATO) to work as a postgraduate student at the University of Hong Kong. The newly constituted Science Research Council was taking over from the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research as the British government's key funder of postgraduates. I remember very little about the interview, which was held at State House (demolished in the 1990s and after all but one Research Council were exiled to the outer darkness of Swindon) a then modern block in High Holborn in London, except for some very easy questions from an elderly man on the left. I also remember that I was not told who the three members of the panel were.

While looking up material for my jotting on Dorthy Sladden and Ernest W MacBride, I found myself looking at the photograph of the man on the left who dollied up the easy questions. It was Harold Munro Fox, FRS (1889-1967) best known for his work on animal pigments but also for his experiments which failed to replicate Kammerer's claims on regeneration in the sea squirt, Ciona.

Harold Munro Fox - from his Biographical Memoir
of the Royal Society