J. B. S. Haldane (1892–1964) was an outstanding scientist and a polymath who contributed significantly to physiology, genetics, biochemistry, statistics, biometry, cosmology, and philosophy, although he himself possessed no formal qualifications in any branch of science. His early science training was provided by his father, Oxford University physiologist J. S. Haldane, and the rest was self-taught. In science, Haldane’s contributions covered physiology, genetics, biochemistry, statistics, biometry, cosmology, and history and philosophy of science, leaving a significant impact on each of these disciplines.

From 1933 to 1937, he was Professor of Genetics at University College, London. In 1937, he was elected to the Weldon Chair of Biometry where he continued to teach and direct research in biometry, statistics, human genetics and several other subjects. Haldane’s numerous publications include more than 400 papers (for most of which he was the sole author) and 24 books as well as several hundred popular articles.

In 1957, both Haldane and his wife migrated to India to accept an invitation from Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis, Director of the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta. Mahalanobis was a close friend and advisor to the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Haldane’s last years in India are of interest because he showed how an eminent scientist from the West can transplant himself to a less developed country and still lead a productive and creative life during his last years. He suggested research projects that could be undertaken by utilizing local resources, requiring no expensive laboratories or equipment, while much of his own research was of theoretical and mathematical nature and hence not dependent on external funding.

His last two years of Life was in Bhubaneswar (1962-64). He wanted to start an institute of Genetics and Biometry with the help of Chief Minister. He never received a degree in any branch of science, yet he became one of the great and influential scientists of the 20th century. Haldane, who was popularly known as either just ‘‘JBS’’ or ‘‘Prof’’ or simply ‘‘Haldane’’ was a true polymath, a genius who possessed intimate knowledge of multiple disciplines. He always advocated Science for people and technology for tomorrow.