Francisco Ayala is University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. On June 12, 2002, President George W. Bush awarded him the US National Medal of Science. On May 5, 2010, he received the 2010 Templeton Prize from HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in Buckingham Palace.
Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS); the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain; Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy); Mexican Academy of Sciences; Latin American Institute for Advanced Studies; and Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Ayala has received the Gold Honorary Gregor Mendel Medal, Czech Academy of Sciences; Gold Medal of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei; Gold Medal of the Stazione Zoologica of Naples; President's Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences; Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award and the 150th Anniversary Leadership Medal from AAAS; Medal of the Collège de France; UCI Medal, University of California; the 1998 Distinguished Scientist Award, SACNAS; and the 2000 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, Sigma Xi.
He has been President of the Society for the Study of Evolution; member of the NAS Council, National Advisory Council of the Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH); National Advisory Council for the Human Genome Project; Executive Committee of the Science Advisory Board (EPA); Commission on Life Sciences; and Board on Basic Biology (Chairman, 1985-1992; NRC).
Ayala is a frequent lecturer in universities and other institutions in the United States and other countries such as Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia. His scientific research concerns population genetics and biological evolution, including origin of species, origin and evolution of malaria, genetic structure of parasites, molecular clock of evolution, and human evolution. His philosophical writings focus on epistemology, ethics, and issues related to biology.
He has published more than 1100 articles and is author or editor of 50 books, including: On Human Nature (2017), Evolution, Explanation, Ethics and Aesthetics (2016), Essential Readings in Evolutionary Biology (2014), Evolución Humana. El Camino Hacia Nuestra Especie (2013), The Big Questions. Evolution (2012), Am I a Monkey? (2010), Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion (2007), Human Evolution (2007), Darwin and Intelligent Design (2006), Systematics and the Origin of Species (2005), Handbook of Evolution, vol. 2 (2005), Senderos de la Evolución Humana (2001), Variation and Evolution in Plants and Microorganisms (2000), Genetics and The Origin of Species (1997), Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1995), Modern Genetics (2nd ed., 1984), Population and Evolutionary Genetics: A Primer (1982), Evolving: The Theory and Processes of Organic Evolution (1979), Evolution (1977), Molecular Evolution (1976), and Studies in the Philosophy of Biology (1974).