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Worthington, Edgar Barton, 1905-2001 (biologist)



Edgar Barton Worthington, son of Edgar and Amy Worthington, was born in 1905. He was educated at Rugby school and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he took a First in Zoology. From 1930-33 he was Balfour Student at Cambridge and, from 1933-37, Demonstrator in Zoology. In 1928 he went to East Africa for two years to work on the fisheries of Lake Victoria before leading the Cambridge Expedition to the East African Lakes in 1930-31. In 1930 Worthington married Stella Desmond Johnson, a member of these early expeditions. They had three daughters. In the 1930s Worthington held a number of important scientific posts, including Scientist to Lord Hailey’s African Research Survey and the Director of Laboratories and Secretary of the Freshwater Biological Association, whilst during the war he surveyed scientific resources in Africa. After the war he continued to work in Africa, drawing up an official Development Plan for Uganda in 1946, and subsequently holding a number of administrative posts for, amongst others, the Colonial Research Council, the East African High Commission and the Scientific Council for Africa South of the Sahara. In 1967 he was awarded the CBE. He was Scientific Director of the International Biological Programme from 1964-1974 and President of the Committee on Water Resources until 1977. Having retired, he was still member of various organisations (for example the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council), and became Member of Honour of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 1978. Two years after the death of his first wife, he married Harriett Stockton in 1980, and he died on 14 December 2001.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Papers of Edgar Barton Worthington

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10211
Scope and Contents

Papers relating to Worthington's work in Africa, a few items relating to his personal life and various publications. Includes correspondence, newspaper cuttings, reports, speeches and photographs.

Dates: 1927-2011
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (