Waddington, Holmyard and Alchemy: Perspectives on the Epigenetic Landscape

Neil R Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


In 1923, Conrad Hal Waddington was in his final year at Clifton College, Bristol, UK, being taught chemistry by Dr. Eric John Holmyard. During this year, Waddington and Holmyard both wrote about alchemy, the former in an extended school essay and the latter in the journal Nature. Almost twenty years later, Holmyard and Waddington were instrumental in the formation of the journal Endeavour in 1942. Using recently discovered primary source materials and unpublished manuscripts, the influence of Holmyard and alchemy on the early development of Waddington’s thinking is explored, including his subsequent attraction to Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy and the impact on his epigenetic research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Early online date13 Sept 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Sept 2019


  • epigenetic landscape
  • Conrad Hal Waddington
  • Clifton College
  • Eric John Holmyard
  • Alfred North Whitehead
  • epigenotype
  • Endeavour


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