Derek Denton

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Derek Denton

Born (1924-05-27) 27 May 1924 (age 94)
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne[citation needed]
Dame Margaret Scott
(m. 1953; her death 2019)
AwardsMacfarlane Burnet Medal and Lecture
Order of Australia
Scientific career
FieldsAnimal consciousness

Derek Ashworth Denton AC FRS (born 27 May 1924) is an Australian scientist known for his research exploring the regulation of the electrolyte pattern of the extracellular fluid, the hormones controlling it, particularly aldosterone, and the instinctive behaviours controlling apt intake of water and salts.


He is the founding Director and Emeritus Director of the Howard Florey Institute,[1] Honorary Professor at the University of Melbourne, and a consultant at the Baker Research Institute. Denton's latest book is The Primordial Emotions: The Dawning of Consciousness.[2]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 1995, on election to the National Academy of Sciences, he was cited as "the world's leading authority on the regulation of salt and water metabolism and relevant endocrine control mechanisms". He is also exploring the nature of consciousness in animals.[citation needed] In 1987 he was awarded the Macfarlane Burnet Medal and Lecture by the Australian Academy of Science for his lifetime's work[3] and in 1999 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.[4] He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2005 for leadership in medical research.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Derek Denton was married to pioneering ballet dancer and teacher Dame Margaret Scott from 1953 until her death in 2019. They had two sons.[6][7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Hon degree to Derek Denton". UniNews. 18 September 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Macfarlane Burnet Medal and Lecture". Australian Academy of Science. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Derek Denton-Biography". Royal Society. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Order of Australia Companion in the General Division" (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia Gazette Special. Commonwealth of Australia. 26 January 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2008.
  6. ^ "The mind game". The Age. 8 Oct 2003.
  7. ^ "Dame Margaret Scott, DBE" (PDF). Victorian Honour Roll of Women. 2001.

External links[edit]

  • "Derek Denton". In conversation. ABC Radio National. 8 February 2007. audio and transcript of interview