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Stephen Boyden - human ecologist and biohistorian

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The Australian National University, Emeritus Faculty Inc.

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CollectionsANU Emeritus Faculty Oral History Project
Title: Stephen Boyden - human ecologist and biohistorian
Author(s): Boyden, Stephen
Editor(s): Stewart, Peter
Keywords: Stephen Boyden;ANU;Emeritus Faculty;oral history
Publisher: The Australian National University, Emeritus Faculty Inc.
Stephen Vickers Boyden was born in London in 1925. After graduating in Veterinary Science in London in 1947, he worked at the University of Cambridge and the Rockefeller Institute in New York. He received his PhD in immunology from Cambridge in 1951. After a year at the Pasteur Institute in Paris Stephen ran the WHO Tuberculosis Immunisation Research Centre in Copenhagen for eight years. From 1960 he worked at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University in Canberra. He was appointed Fellow of the Australian Academy in 1966 for his work in haemagglutination (red blood cell clumping) in relation to aspects of bacterial and viral pathogenesis. A few years later he moved away from molecular and cellular science into the larger scale of human ecology and the intersection between human society and the processes of life, that is, human ecology and biohistory. In the early 1970s Stephen initiated and directed the Hong Kong Human Ecology Program, which was the first comprehensive ecological study of a city. He was a UNESCO consultant to the Man in the Biosphere Program (1973-89, and leader of the Fundamental Questions Program at the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, ANU (1988-90). Stephen ‘retired’ from ANU in 1990, and soon after established the Nature and Science Forum in Canberra, with which he continues to be closely involved. This program, involving scientists and lay persons, has achieved a notable record of discussion, publication, and general activism in human ecology and biological sustainability. Stephen was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1999. He lives with his wife Rosie in suburban Canberra but they spend much time at a family farm and wildlife refuge which the family established in the Tinderrys, south–east of Canberra.


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