The Raymond Pearl Memorial Lecture was established in 1983 by the Human Biology Association to honor one of the great human biologists of the 20th century. He received his PhD degree from the University of Michigan in 1902 with a dissertation on the behavior of Planaria under the mentorship of Herbert Spencer Jennings, and went on to post-graduate studies at the University of Leipzig and University College London where he studied under Karl Pearson. He was Chair of the Department of Biology at the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station from 1907-1918 and then joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University as Professor of Biometry and Vital Statistics at the School of Hygiene and Public Health, and was subsequently Professor of Biology there until his death in 1940. Pearl’s contributions to science were voluminous and included the areas of biostatistics and statistical methods, human population biology, population growth, aging, nutrition, genetics, animal behavior and physiology, and epidemiology, seeing all of these studies as part of a larger holistic human biology. He published more than 700 papers, wrote 15 books and founded and edited the Quarterly Review of Biology (1926) and Human Biology (1929). Raymond Pearl is commemorated each year at the Annual Meeting of the Human Biology Association with a memorial lecture delivered by an individual who has made outstanding contributions to science and with the presentation of a plaque. Over the past 30 years, the HBA is proud to have honored leading thinkers in every domain of our field:


Pearl Memorial Lecturers, 1983 – 2019

1983    Sharon Kingsland, Johns Hopkins University
1984    David Kritchevsky, University of Pennsylvania
1985    Stanley M. Garn, University of Michigan
1986    Alex F. Roche, Wright State University School of Medicine
1987    Derek F. Roberts, University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
1988    James N. Spuhler, University of New Mexico
1989    D. Carleton Gajdusek, National Institutes of Health*
1990    George H. Beaton, University of Toronto
1991    Henry J. Montoye, University of Wisconsin
1992    William J. Schull, University of Texas Health Sciences Center*
1993    Arno G. Motulsky, University of Washington*
1994    G. Ainsworth Harrison, University of Oxford*
1995    Robert N. Butler, Mount Sinai Medical Center*
1996    Paul T. Baker, Pennsylvania State University*
1997    George C. Williams, State University of New York, Stony Brook*
1998    Jean W. MacCluer, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research*
1999    Margaret Lock, McGill University*†
2000    R.M. Neill Alexander, University of Leeds
2001    Henry C. Harpending, University of Utah
2002    Jeanne Altmann, Princeton University
2003    Robert R. Sokal, Stony Brook University‡
2004    Stephen C. Stearns, Yale University‡
2005    Darna L. DuFour, University of Colorado‡
2006    A.T. Steegmann, Jr., University at Buffalo, SUNY‡
2007    Claude Bouchard, Pennington Biomedical Resource Center‡
2008    Donna Day Baird, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences‡
2009    Alan H. Bittles, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University‡
2010    John Allman, California Institute of Technology
2011    Richard Weindruch, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison‡
2012    Cynthia Beall, Case Western Reserve University‡
2013    Peter Gluckman, University of Auckland‡
2014    Charles Raison, University of Arizona
2015    Margaret C. Neville, University of Colorado
2016    Reynaldo Martorell, Emory University
2017    Jerome Siegel, University of California Los Angeles
2018    Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Yale University
2019    Amber Wutich, Arizona State University


  • Human Biology Association
  • †North American Menopause Society
  • *Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
  • ‡Wiley-Liss, Inc.