Cyril Darlington (1903-1981) was the most famous cytologist in the world in the decades preceding the molecular revolution of the 1950s. He crossed disciplinary boundaries to create a synthesis of cytology, genetics and evolution by revealing the mechanics of chromosomal recombination and the importance of its evolution. Always controversial during his lifetime, obituaries ultimately referred to him as the 'Copernicus' or 'Newton' of cytology. This article reviews Darlington's scientific contributions, the reasons for their difficult reception at the time and their continuing relevance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
56. Medical Research Council. Report of the Medical Research Council Working Group to develop operational and ethical guidelines, human tissue and biological samples for use in research (Medical Research Council, London, 1999).