Professor Brian Ford

Research Biologist, author, lecturer and broadcaster.

Brian J Ford was appointed Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester in 2006, is Fellow and Member of Court at Cardiff University and a Associate of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University, Honorary Fellow of Keynes College, University of Kent at Canterbury and former Fellow at the Open University. He has written over 30 books, most of them on biology and the microscope, on which he is an international authority. Ford’s research has been published in journals including New Scientist, Scientific American, Nature, The Microscope and the British Medical Journal. He has written for The Times and The Guardian. Nature recently described him as the 'world's leading expert' on obtaining images through microscopes, and a search for 'microscope research' on Google shows him to rank top out of 30,000,000 sites world-wide.

Courses Taught



  • Secret Weapons, Technology, Science and the Race to win WWII. 2011. Oxford: Osprey Publishing

Book section

  • Culturing Meat for the Future: Anti-death versus anti-life, [chapter in] Tandy, Charles (editor) Death And Anti-Death, Volume 7, Palo Alto: Ria University Press, 2010
  • Intelligent Living Cell, Cheltenham Science Festival, Town hall, Chelntenham, 1800-1900h, 12 June 2011
  • Interviewed on Leeuwenhoek by Tony Hill [in] Genius Unrecognised, producer Peter Everett, BBC Radio Four, 1445-1500h, 27 February 2011
  • Outreach public lecture; The Genius of the Cell, Royal College of Surgeons of Dublin, 1900-200h, 8 June 2011
  • Address on cultured meat to Vegetarian Society debate at annual meeting, London: Dragon Hall, Covent Garden, 1630h, 11 September 2010
  • Concerning the Abilities of Living Cells, illustrated presentation to Mensa at Cambridge, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, 1400-1530h, 22 August 2010

Journal article

  • Critial Focus (4): The good guide to bad lectures, The Microscope 58(4): 167-172, 2011
  • Critical Focus (5): The Leeuwenhoek specimens, The Microscope 59(1): 11-19, 2011
  • Critical Focus (6): Cultured meat; food for the future, The Microscope 59(2): 73-81 2011
  • New theory on Human Origins, Laboratory News: 24-25, July 2011
  • A New Era of Whole Cell Biology, Biologist57 (1): 9-11, February 2010
  • Critical Focus column (2): Inventing Life, or Reality? The Microscope 58 (2): 69-77, 2010
  • Critical Focus column: The Royal Society turns 350, The Microscopes 58 (1): 35-40 2010
  • Critical Focus: Censoring the Cell: How the Microscope is Abused by the Media, The Microscope 58 (3): 121-129, 2010
  • The Cheat and the Microscope, plagiarism over Centuries, The Microscope 58 (1): 21-32, 2010

Magazine article

  • Expert Bookshelf, Cells and Microbes, Focus magazine: 89, March 2010
  • Single Cell intelligence (with colour photographs), Mensa Magazine: 6-7, February 2010
  • The Secret Power of the Single Cell, New Scientist 26-27, 24 April 2010

Associations and memberships

Fellow, Society of Biology

Fellow, Royal Microscopial Society

Member, Society of Authors

President, Cambridge Society for the Application of Research

Chairman, The Storers Trust

Fellow of Cardiff University and Member of the Court of Governors

Fellow, Linnean Society of London; Honorary Surveyor of Scientific Instruments

Honorary Member of Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury

Associate Member, Gonville and Caius, University of Cambridge

Visiting Professor, University of Leicester

Life Member, Member of Council and Finance Committee, Friends of Cambridge University Library

Life Member and Fellow of the Philosophical Society, University of Cambridge

Emeritus Member, New York Academy of Sciences

Honorary Member, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

Honorary Member, Keynes College, University of Kent at Canterbury

Life Member and Fellow of the Philosophical Society, University of Cambridge

Research Topics

Images from early microscopes (due for presentation at Royal Society, 29 October 2010)

Intelligence and ingenuity in single cells.

Progress of science and technology during World War II.

Microscopy of unconventional specimens.

Role of the amateur in scientific development.

Web Links

Professor Brian Ford