Obituary: Professor William Hayes
Monday 17 January 1994
WILLIAM HAYES will be remembered primarily for two outstanding achievements: first, his discovery of transferable virus-like genetic elements between bacteria, and secondly for his superb classic textbook: The Genetics of Bacteria and Their Viruses (1964), which is written in beautifully clear and readable English.
It was in the early Fifties that I got to know Bill Hayes and we were deeply influenced by what seemed to be complementary interests, involving (on his side) the genetics and (my own) the biochemistry of bacteria. It seemed inevitable that we should feel strongly that we might combine to teach and research in building what could be an approach to a complete molecular biology of micro-organisms.
It appeared obvious that our two groups of workers, one exploring the biochemistry of enzyme production in bacteria and Hayes's Medical Research Council Unit of Bacterial Genetics should be joined together, and this was helped immeasurably by his personal charm and generous forbearance. It only remained for Edinburgh University to seize the opportunity through the talented foresight of the then Vice-Chancellor, Sir Michael Swann, and so institute in 1968 the first teaching department of molecular biology in a British university.
Bill Hayes had been ill for some time before he finally had a coronary thrombosis, with the usual complications, which ended his life earlier this month.
He had been out of touch with science and his former colleagues, but was cared for with love by his wife, Nora, in a retirement home near Sydney, Australia, where he had moved following his departure from the Australian National University in Canberra, having left Edinburgh University in 1973.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...
£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...