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Rothschild, Nathaniel Mayer Victor, Lord


ROTHSCHILD, NATHANIEL MAYER VICTOR, LORD (1910–1990), British biologist. A fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge (1935–39), he served in military intelligence during World War ii and was awarded the George Medal (1944) and the U.S. Legion of Merit (1946). On his return to civilian life, he pursued research in embryology, particularly on the biochemistry and physiology of the egg and sperm cells. Investigating the reactions leading to fertilization in a series of research projects with M.M. Swann (1949–52), Lord Rothschild showed that fertilization brings about changes in the egg surface which protect the egg against the penetration of additional spermatozoa. His book Fertilization (1956) described the fertilization process in invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants. His other publications include A Classification of Living Animals (1961, 19652). From 1948 to 1958, Lord Rothschild was chairman of the British Agricultural Research Council and from 1950 he was assistant director of research in the department of zoology of Cambridge. In 1965 he became research coordinator of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. Rothschild served as director-general of the Central Policy Review Staff ("Think-Tank") of the British Cabinet Office from 1971 to 1974 and as chairman of the Royal Commission on Gambling from 1976. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. Keenly interested in Israel, he was appointed a governor of the Weizmann Institute of Science and of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was appointed gbc Knight (Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire) in 1975. His autobiography Meditations of a Broomstick was published in 1977.

See *Rothschild family.

[Mordecai L. Gabriel and

Henry Wasserman]

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