Barnes Prize

This award lecture is presented at the Annual Congress and celebrates a distinguished leader in toxicology.  It was established in memory of Dr John Barnes, a pioneer in the science of toxicology. The successful awardee will be an invited guest at the BTS Annual Congress, where they will receive their award and deliver the Barnes Prize lecture.

Candidate Attributes

Awarded to a distinguished leader in the profession of toxicology, safety science and associated disciplines; having made significant scientific contributions in research, teaching, safety assessment and/or regulation.


Biennially in odd numbered years

  • Invitation to deliver the Barnes Lecture at the Annual Congress
  • Commemorative plaque
  • Registration, accommodation, and travel for the Annual Congress in line with BTS Travel Policy

Normally awarded to a longstanding BTS member who is a distinguished leader in toxicology, independent of age or place of employment.

Application requirements

The nominator should send the following information to the BTS Secretariat:

  • Full CV of the candidate
  • Description (of no more than 1000 words) of the candidate’s career and contributions to national and international toxicology.
  • Brief summary of the reason for the nomination (no more than 250 words), including how the individual fulfils the eligibility for the award
  • Nominations for the award can be made by any member of the BTS,
  • Applications should be submitted to the BTS Secretariat in response to a call to the Membership in the year preceding the relevant Annual Congress.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Nominations Sub-Committee (NSC), which makes recommendations for ratification by the Executive Committee.
  • The successful awardee will be notified by the President by the end of February preceding the Annual Congress.

Portrait of John BarnesAbout Dr John Barnes (1913-1975)

Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, Carshalton, Surrey

John M. Barnes (1913-1975) was a pioneer in the field of toxicology.  He was the first director of the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, having been educated as a physician prior to specialising in toxicological research. He was instrumental in developing and maintaining an excellent research climate; fully supported the development of young scientists; cared deeply for the quality of science that was conducted under his leadership; ensured fundamental research was applied to health wherever possible; and was a very much sought-after consultant for competent committees on the world-side use of pesticides. The BTS first awarded the Barnes Prize in 1979 to Professor W N Aldridge.

Read more about his life and contribution to toxicology in Witschi (2002) Tox. Sci., 68(2), 267–269

1979 Prof W N Aldridge

1981 Prof P N Magee

1983 Prof L Golberg

1985 Dr J Cairns

1987 Prof G Zbinden

1989 Prof B N Ames

1991 Prof S Orrenius

1993 Prof J A Swenberg, Dr F De Matteis

1995 Prof R Lawerys

1997 Dr M K Johnson

1999 Prof A Wyllie

2001 Sir Alec Jeffreys

2003 Dr J Peto

2005 Prof J Goodman

2007 Prof D S Davies

2009 Prof R Schulte-Hermann

2011 Prof R Wolf, OBE

2013 Prof A Boobis OBE

2015 Prof I Kimber OBE

2017 Prof Kevin Park

2019 Prof Andy Smith

2021 Dr Bette Meek

2023 Professor Samuel Cohen