Helen Spurway
Helen Spurway (Helen Haldane) (c. 1917 – 15 February 1977, Hyderabad) was a biologist and the second wife of J. B. S. Haldane. She emigrated to India in 1957 along with Haldane and conducted research in field biology along with Krishna Dronamraju, Suresh Jayakar, and others.
Spurway obtained her Ph.D. in genetics under the supervision of J.B.S. Haldane, whom she married later, at University College, London. Her early research was in the genetics of Drosophila subobscura, but later switched to the reproductive biology of the guppy, Lebistes reticulatus. Her claim, in 1955, that parthenogenesis, which occurs in the guppy in nature, may also occur (though very rarely) in the human species, leading to so-called "virgin births" created some sensation among her colleagues and the lay public alike [(TIME magazine, November 28, 1955; Editorial in The Lancet, 2: 967 (1955)]. In 1959, at the Indian Statistical Institute she turned her attention to the genetics of the giant silkworm Antheraea mylitta, raising them in captivity to test the quality of their silk. In January 1961 she and J.B.S., assisted by their associate Krishna Dronamraju, were hosts to United States National Science Fair biology winners Gary Botting (zoology) and Susan Brown (botany). Using a novel technique of pheromone transfer, Botting had cross-bred an Antheraea mylitta female with a Telea polyphemus male, with viable offspring. Botting and Spurway concluded that the polyphemus moth was misclassified and should be included under the genus Antheraea. At the time, the larvae of her mylitta specimens were developing black dots, which she attributed to adaptation to their artificial, dark environment in a similar way that the peppered moth (Biston betularia) had apparently adapted to its changing urban environment in Manchester, England. That "urban adaptation" scenario had been touted by many textbooks as clear evidence of evolution in action. J.B.S. Haldane had himself made statistical calculations as early as 1924 about the appearance of light and melanic populations of the peppered moth, then known as Amphidasys betularia. Decades later, E.B. Ford and Bernard Kettlewell (with whom Helen Spurway was known to have "broken bread" in Oxford by eating a live moth or two) attempted to capitalize on the supposed evolutionary adaptation of the peppered moth. Kettlewell apparently fudged his data to obtain results that approximated Haldane's 1924 statistical calculations.Gary Botting already regarded the case of the peppered moth as tantamount to belief in Lamarckian evolution. He diagnosed the black spots on Spurway's larvae as pebrine, a disease deadly to lepidoptera.
Fearing that J.B.S. Haldane and Spurway were attempting to "brainwash" Gary Botting and Susan Brown with Marxist propaganda, the United States Information Service denied permission to the science fair winners to return to the Indian Statistical Institute for a banquet organized by J.B.S. and Helen in their honour. Helen Spurway, J.B.S. and Krishna Dronamraju were present in Botting's room at the Oberoi Grand Hotel in Kolkata when Brown announced that U.S. Cultural Attache Duncan Emery had forbidden her and Botting from attending the banquet that evening. Haldane went on his much-publicized hunger strike to protest the U.S. insult. Later, the Haldanes, who were irritated by the abrupt changes made by the Director Mahalanobis in the social programme of the visiting Soviet leader Kosygin, resigned from the Indian Statistical Institute. Eventually, they moved to Bhubaneswar, Orissa, to found the Genetics & Biometry Laboratory. However, Haldane soon developed cancer of the rectum and died there in 1964.
Gary Botting initially concluded from Spurway's observations about the black dots on her larvae, and from other similar statements, that she and J.B.S. Haldane were "committed Lamarckian evolutionists" who were prepared to believe, without sufficient evidence, in the possibility of rapid evolutionary adaptation. However, Botting later praised Spurway for her experiments with Antheraea mylitta and Antheraea assamensis (which she had tried to hybridize) and credited the Haldanes with encouraging him to accept the precepts of Darwinian evolution.
Helen Spurway's lifelong research interests also included animal behavior and domestication, which led to her close contacts with several eminent zoologists including Konrad Lorenz, Salim Ali, T. Dobzhansky and Ernst Mayr.
After her husband's death in 1964, in Bhubaneswar, Spurway moved to Hyderabad in Southern India and spent her remaining years there studying animal domestication, until her death in 1977.

This is an excerpt from the article Helen Spurway from the Wikipedia free encyclopedia. A list of authors is available at Wikipedia.
The article Helen Spurway at en.wikipedia.org was accessed 189 times in the last 30 days. (as of: 12/09/2013)
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Helen Spurway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Helen Spurway (Helen Haldane) (c. 1917 – 15 February 1977, Hyderabad) was a biologist and the second wife of J. B. S. Haldane. She emigrated to India in ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Spurway
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Helen spurway News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip - io9
How scientists tried to confirm a "virgin birth" long before DNA testing.
io9.com/tag/helen-spurway
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John Maynard Smith - Biologist - Helen Spurway - Web of Stories
John Maynard Smith talks about learning to be a good scientist from Helen Spurway.
www.webofstories.com/play/7279
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Helen Spurway Video | Interviews - OVGuide
Watch Helen Spurway Videos Online including Helen Spurway Interviews and paparazzi footage. Helen Spurway was a biologist and the second wife of J. B. S.  ...
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September 11, 1967 Dr. Helen Spurway Genetics and Biometry ...
Dr. Helen Spurway. Genetics and Biometry Laboratory. Government of Orissa. Bhybaneswar - 3. 0ri6S8,. India. Dear lielen : I have regretted for a long time that  ...
profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/BBAEAV.pdf
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Helen Spurway - I1610 - Individual Information - PhpGedView
Given Names: Helen Surname: Spurway Married Name: Helen Haldane, Gender: Female Female, Birth: about 1917. Death: 15 February 1978 ‎(Age 61)‎ Age: ...
www.stanford.edu/group/auden/cgi-bin/audennj/individual.php?pid=I1610&ged=auden-bicknell.ged
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An Extract From “Memoirs for Family and Friends” - Genetics
Oct 1, 1998 ... The same was true for Haldane, who insisted I come to dinner with him and his wife, Helen Spurway. They both loved to shock and they loved ...
www.genetics.org/content/150/2/519.full
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Helen Spurway (Meaning of) - Encyclo
Helen Spurway (Helen Haldane) (c.1917-15 February 1978, Hyderabad, India) was a biologist and the second wife of J. B. S. Haldane. She emigrated to India in  ...
www.encyclo.co.uk/define/Helen%20Spurway
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JBS Haldane - UCL Library Services: UCL Archives
Haldane was married twice, first to Charlotte Burghes (née Franken) whom he married in 1926, and secondly to Helen Spurway, a UCL colleague. His second ...
archives.ucl.ac.uk/DServe/dserve.exe?dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqCmd=Show.tcl&dsqSearch=RefNo=='HALDANE'&dsqDb=Catalog
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Helen Spurway (1917 - 1978) - Genealogy - Geni
Dec 11, 2010 ... Genealogy for Helen Spurway (1917 - 1978) on Geni with over 100 million profiles of ancestors and living relatives. Page updated December ...
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Helen Spurway in science
Helen Spurway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Spurway obtained her Ph.D. in genetics under the supervision of J.B.S. Haldane, whom she married later, at University College, London. Her early research was ...
John Maynard Smith - Biologist - Helen Spurway - Web of Stories
John Maynard Smith talks about learning to be a good scientist from Helen Spurway.
JBS Haldane - UCL Library Services: UCL Archives
Haldane became Professor of Genetics at University College London in 1933 and ... He was survived by his wife, Helen Spurway (1915-1978), and his younger ...
Helen Spurway Video | Interviews - OVGuide
Watch Helen Spurway Videos Online including Helen Spurway Interviews and paparazzi footage. Helen Spurway was a biologist and the second wife of J. B. S.  ...
Medicine: Parthenogenesis? - TIME
Britain's interest in a topic long pigeonholed by science was spurred by a report that Eugenist Helen Spurway gave at University College in London. Among ...
Books on the term Helen Spurway
The Mysteries of Human Reproduction
The Mysteries of Human Reproduction
Raymond W. Bernard, 1994
Interest in the subject increased during the month when 'Lancet' reported on a lecture held by Dr. Helen Spurway dealing ... "These were some of the conclusions reached by Dr. Spurway in her lecture, which had repercussions in European ...
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Helen Fielding, 2013
It’s been 15 years since readers first met the charmingly insecure Bridget Jones, and 13 since her last adventure in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2000). Bridget is now 51, and, most readers will be chagrined to learn, a widow. She is also raising the two children she had with the now deceased Mark Darcy and gingerly wading back into the datin...
From Physiology and Chemistry to Biochemistry
From Physiology and Chemistry to Biochemistry
D. P. Burma, Maharani Chakravorty, 2011
When Haldane and his wife, Helen Spurway, immigrated to India in 1957, they brought the journal with them. Haldane edited the journal from India until his death in 1964, after which Helen Spurway continued to publish the journal with ...
Guinea Pig Scientists: Bold Self-Experimenters in Science and Medicine (Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students...
Guinea Pig Scientists: Bold Self-Experimenters in Science and Medicine (Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students...
2005
Starred Review. Grade 5 Up -Scientifically speaking, a "guinea pig" is a person who volunteers to serve as a subject in a scientific study. An easy and interesting read, this book describes 18th-century Italian scientist Lazzaro Spallanzani and his research on himself to explore digestion by swallowing food encapsulated in wooden tubes or...
J.B.S: The life and Work of J.B.S Haldane
J.B.S: The life and Work of J.B.S Haldane
Ronald Clark, 2011
... usedto eliminate the less able candidates for a qualification in dentistry.” Eachtestwas an individual experience. One,which Helen Spurway later reconstructed from her notes, was typical.Inthis, varying amounts of carbon dioxide were added ...
Like a Virgin: How Science Is Redesigning the Rules of Sex
Like a Virgin: How Science Is Redesigning the Rules of Sex
Aarathi Prasad, 2012
Most cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man. Is this just a myth, or could virgin birth become the way we make babies in the future? In Like a Virgin, biologist Aarathi Prasad explores inconceivable ideas about conception, from the “Jesus Christ” lizard’s ability to self-reproduce (it walks on water, too) to the hunt ...
Like a Virgin: The Science of a Sexless Future
Like a Virgin: The Science of a Sexless Future
Aarathi Prasad, 2012
It was Helen Spurway's husband, Jack, who worked out the maths — he was the person who did the calculations to measure the similarity between Emmimarie's and Monica's blood. Jack was known to the world as J. B. S. Haldane, and the ...
Haldane, Mayr, and Beanbag Genetics
Haldane, Mayr, and Beanbag Genetics
2011
Haldane, Mayr, and Beanbag Genetics presents a summary of the classic exchange between two great biologists - J.B.S. Haldane and Ernst Mayr - regarding the value of the contributions of the mathematical school represented by J.B.S. Haldane, R.A. Fisher and S. Wright to the theory of evolution. Their pioneering contributions from 1918 to the 1960s d...
Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the ...
Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the ...
Richard W. Burkhardt, 2005
Among the other speakers were Karl von Frisch, Otto Koehler, J. B. S. Haldane, and Haldane's wife, Helen Spurway. As the conference proceeded in the elegant salon of the Singer-Polignac building, the different participants had multiple and ...
The Ladyslipper and I, Autobiography of G. Ledyard Stebbins
The Ladyslipper and I, Autobiography of G. Ledyard Stebbins
2007
For those of us who learned plant evolution from Variation and Evolution in Plants, Flowering Plants: Evolution Above the Species Level, and Chromosomal Evolution in Higher Plants, this autobiography provides an intimate portrait of the genius who opened our eyes and challenged our minds. The influence of California s flora on Stebbins life and wor...
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Blog posts on the term
Helen Spurway
News from the Edge | Christmas Special: Is a Virgin Birth Scientifically Possible? | unknowncountry
As around 45% of the world prepares to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ, there are those who will question the truth behind the world's most famous legend.
www.unknowncountry.com/news/christmas-special-virgin-birth-scientifically-possible
How scientists tried to confirm a "virgin birth" long before DNA testing
In the 1950s, geneticist Helen Spurway learned of a woman, Emmimarie Jones, who claimed that her daughter had been born without a father. Spurway had studied parthenogenesis in fish, and was curious as to whether a so-called "virgin birth" was possible in humans. But decades before DNA profiling, how could she confirm or disprove Jones' claim?
io9.com/5936056/how-scientists-tried-to-confirm-a-virgin-birth-long-before-dna-tests
Immaculate Conception: Virgin Births and Probing the Improbable | Mysterious Universe
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, there is much talk of the "reason behind the season" at Christmas time. This involves the belief that the birth of Jesus of
mysteriousuniverse.org/2013/12/immaculate-conception-virgin-births-and-probing-the-improbable/
Haldane: a cantankerous and charismatic pioneer | Wellcome Library
blog.wellcomelibrary.org/2013/07/haldane-a-cantankerous-and-charismatic-pioneer/
More On The Virgin Birth - BuzzDixon.com
The personal blog of writer Buzz Dixon. "His manner is frivolous because he is an Italian; but he means what he says."
buzzdixon.com/christianity/more-on-the-virgin-birth/
The mystery of the modern virgin birth still has scientists stumped - Holy Kaw!
When geneticist Helen Spurway discovered that female guppies were able to conceive without a male via a process known as parthenogenesis and research from other scientists indicated mammals such as...
holykaw.alltop.com/the-mystery-of-the-modern-virgin-birth-still
Rupert Sheldrake: the 'heretic' at odds with scientific dogma -- Science & Technology -- Sott.net
Rupert Sheldrake has researched telepathy in dogs, crystals and Chinese medicine in his quest to explore phenomena that science finds hard to explain It is not often, in liberal north London, that you come face to face with a heretic, but Rupert...
www.sott.net/article/241443-Rupert-Sheldrake-the-heretic-at-odds-with-scientific-dogma
Haldane | West Hunter
John Burdon Sanderson Haldane, FRS [1892-1964] was one of the three main founders of modern population genetics, along with Sir Ronald Fisher and Sewall Wright. In his life he played many parts: biochemist, physiologist, geneticist, soldier, popularizer of science, and spy. On occasion, he was even a fictional character. Son of Britain’s most prominent physiologist,…
westhunt.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/haldane/
Miss Cellania: Afternoon Links
Celebrating The Life & Birthday of H. P.
misscellania.blogspot.com/2012/08/afternoon-links.html
J. B. S. Haldane - New World Encyclopedia
www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/J._B._S._Haldane
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