Henry Gee

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Henry Gee
Henry Gee, December 2008.jpg
Henry Gee
Born 24 April 1962
London, England, United Kingdom
Residence Cromer, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Alma mater
Awards European Science Fiction Society's Best Publisher Award (2005)
Scientific career
Fields Paleontology
Evolutionary biology
Institutions Nature

Henry Gee (born 24 April 1962 in London, England) is a British paleontologist and evolutionary biologist. He is a senior editor of Nature, the scientific journal.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Gee attended Sevenoaks School as a boarder. He later recalled playing a goblin and a troll in a Tolkien school drama production of The Hobbit. He then attended the Michael Hall School.[2]

Gee earned his B.Sc. at the University of Leeds and completed his PhD at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge with a dissertation on "the evolution of bison in Britain in the Ice Age."[2]


Gee joined Nature as a reporter in 1987 and is now Senior Editor, Biological Sciences.[3] He has published a number of books, including [4][5][6] In Search of Deep Time (1999),[7][8] A Field Guide to Dinosaurs (illustrated by Luis Rey) (2003) and Jacob's Ladder (2004).

The Accidental Species, a book on human evolution, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2013.[9][10] According to Stephen Cave, (author of Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilisation,) Gee writes, "persuasively," that "our obsession with our uniqueness is folly.... We... believe we are so exceptional... that we are the pinnacle of evolution. But this is a misunderstanding: we are just one twig in the thicket, and we could easily have never sprouted at all."[11]

In addition to his professional activities, Gee is a blues musician and a noted Tolkienist.[10] He was the editor of Mallorn, the journal of the Tolkien Society, for nine issues (2008–13).[3] His SF trilogy The Sigil, previously available in draft form online, was published by ReAnimus Press in August and September 2012.

On 17 January 2014, Gee revealed the identity of pseudonymous science blogger, Dr. Isis on Twitter.[12] Dr. Isis was an open critic of the scientific journal Nature, where Gee is a senior editor. Nature released a statement on the matter.[13]



  1. ^ Nature. "About the editors". Henry Gee, Senior Editor, Biology, London. Education: BSc, University of Leeds; PhD, University of Cambridge. Areas of responsibility include: aspects of integrative and comparative biology (including palaeontology, evolutionary developmental biology, taxonomy and systematics), archaeology and biomechanics. 
  2. ^ a b Sale, Jonathan (16 June 2005). "'I was 516th Goblin and a Female Troll' ; An education in the life of Henry Gee, writer, scientist and Middle Earth boffin". The Independent. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Henry Gee's profile". Nature Network. 2011. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Northcutt, R. Glenn (1996-01-01). Gee, Henry, ed. "Heads and Tails". Science. 274 (5293): 1629–1629 – via JSTOR. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Gans, Carl (1997-01-01). "Review of Before the Backbone: Views on the Origin of the Vertebrates". American Zoologist. 37 (4): 433–434 – via JSTOR. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ Horder, T. J. (1998-01-01). Gee, Henry; Bowler, Peter J.; Nyhart, Lynn K., eds. "Why do Scientists Need to be Historians?". The Quarterly Review of Biology. 73 (2): 175–187 – via JSTOR. (Subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ Campbell, Anthony (2001). "Book review: In Search of Deep Time". Retrieved 1 September 2011. Henry Gee, who is now Senior Editor of Nature, was a witness of this turmoil because he was working at the museum as a student in the 1970s, when he got to know the chief actors in the drama. He remains convinced that the science of cladistics is a vital intellectual tool for our understanding of what he calls Deep Time, to distinguish it from ordinary historical time, which he sees as being qualitatively as well as quantitatively different. 
  8. ^ Vines, Gail (8 April 2000). "Sorry, but are we related?". The Independent. Retrieved 18 January 2017 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ "Accidental Species". University of Chicago Press. 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "A new book challenges the common view of human evolution". Washington Post. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2017 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ Cave, Stephen (8 February 2014). "The Human Touch". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 January 2017 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ Lecher, Colin. "Why Did This Top Science Journal Editor Expose A Blogger's Pen Name?". 
  13. ^ "Press release archive: About NPG". www.nature.com. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  14. ^ Alok, Jha (19 May 2005). "The Science of Middle-earth". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2017 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ "The Accidental Species (book review)". The Daily Telegraph. 1 December 2013 – via Proquest. (Subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]