Francisco J. Ayala is the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. He has been President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Ayala has received the Gold Honorary Gregor Mendel Medal from the Czech Academy of Sciences, the President’s Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the AAAS, the Medal of the College of France, and the UCI Medal from the University of California. He has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Athens (Greece), Barcelona, Leon, Madrid, Vigo, and Las Islas Baleares (Spain). He is a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and the Latin American Institute for Advanced Studies.
His research focusses on population and evolutionary genetics, including the origin of species, genetic diversity of populations, the origin of malaria, the population structure of parasitic protozoa, and the molecular clock of evolution. He also writes about the interface between religion and science, and on philosophical issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and the philosophy of biology.