McLaren, Michie tributes pour in

July 13, 2007

Tributes have been paid to two leading scientists, Dame Anne McLaren and her former husband Donald Michie, who died in a car accident last week.

Dame Anne, 80, spent her career investigating reproductive and genetic processes, which led the way for the development of in vitro fertilisation. She was the first female foreign secretary of the Royal Society, from 1991 until 1996, and its first elected vice-president.

Sir Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, said: "The death of Anne McLaren is a tragedy and a great loss to science. She was one of the UK's leading scientists, and none was held in more universal respect and affection. As a groundbreaking geneticist, she was a leader in discussions of ethical issues relating to embryos and stem cells. She will also be deeply missed as a role model for women in science."

Professor Michie, 83, was a former professor of machine intelligence at Edinburgh University, where he pioneered the creation of artificial intelligence. During the Second World War, he worked on code-breaking at Bletchley Park.

They leave behind two daughters, Susan and Caroline, and a son, Jonathan Michie, the director of Birmingham University's Business School.

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