Brian Follett

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Sir Brian Follett FRS DL
Born 22 February 1939 (1939-02-22) (age 78)
Nationality British
Fields Zoology, biochemistry, seasonal breeding and clocks in birds and mammals
Institutions University of Oxford (Department of Zoology)
Alma mater University of Bristol
Known for Chairman of the TDA (Training and Development Agency for Schools)from 2003-9, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick from 1993-2001, Chair of the national STEM Advisory Forum 2006-, nonstipendiary professor University of Oxford 2001-
Notable awards Frink Medal (1993), Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Scientific Medal (1976), Society of Endocrinology Dale Medal (1988)

Sir Brian Keith Follett FRS DL (born 22 February 1939) chaired the UK government's Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) from 2003-9. The TDA is responsible for recruiting to the teaching profession (ca. 40,000 people per annum), for the training of the wider workforce in schools and for the modernisation (change management) of schools and implementation of such policies as "extended schools". He currently continues to chair the national STEM Advisory Forum that is involved in the UK government's STEM agenda in schools and universities. He is a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and chairs their "community forum" along with the committee responsible for the Shakespeare Birthday Weekend celebrations. He is President of the Stratford Society and also a governor of the Girls' School.

Early life[edit]

Follett was born on 22 February 1939. He attended Bournemouth School, a boys' grammar school.[1]


He is a non-stipendiary Professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford and teaches animal physiology. Follett was formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick from 1993 to 2001 and Professor of Zoology at the University of Bristol from 1978 until 1993.

He chaired the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) from 2000 until 2007. He also chaired a government inquiry into the 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis entitled The Royal Society Inquiry into Infectious Diseases in Livestock. This inquiry examined the scientific aspects of the crisis, for instance the efficacy of vaccinations, the way the virus spreads and so on, chaired and/or wrote various other government reports and was President of The Association for Science Education (ASE) from 1997-8. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the Eest Midlands in 2000.[2]


Follett's research interests are in the reproductive biology of higher vertebrates, and in particular, seasonal breeding in birds and mammals.

Career and awards[edit]

  • 1944-57 - School education in Bournemouth, England
  • 1960 - BSc with 1st class hons in Biochemistry (called Biological Chemistry at that time) from University of Bristol
  • 1964 - PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Bristol
  • 1965-9 Lecturer in Zoology, University of Leeds
  • 1969-78 Lecturer, then Reader and then Professor - University of Wales, Bangor
  • 1978-93 - Professor of Zoology and Head of Department at University of Bristol
  • 15 March 1984 - FRS
  • 1987-93 - Biological Secretary, The Royal Society
  • 1992 - Knighted for services to science
  • 1993 to 2001 - Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick
  • 2000-7 - Chairman of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • 2003-9 - Chairman of the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA)
  • 2006- - Chair of the STEM Advisory Forum
  • Director for many years of the AFRC's Research Group on Photoperiodism and Reproduction. Published ca. 400 papers.
  • Chaired a number of government enquiries including:
    • two on university libraries (1993 and 2003, both for HEFCE and the other UK Funding Councils)
    • one for the ESRC and the British Academy on the future of funding in the humanities and social sciences (1992)
    • and one on the consequences of the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital Inquiry in relation to academic and clinical careers in medicine (2001)

Personal life[edit]

Follett married Deborah in 1963. They have a daughter born in 1965 and a son born in 1968.[1]


  1. ^ a b Debrett's People of Today 2005 (18th ed.). Debrett's. p. 561. ISBN 1-870520-10-6. 
  2. ^ Professor Sir Brian FOLLETT DL (2000)
  • The Royal Society Inquiry into Infectious Diseases in Livestock. Reported July 2002. ISBN 0-85403-579-6.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Clark L. Brundin
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick
Succeeded by
David VandeLinde