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.

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