Following a report from a Working Party on Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry initiated by the Council of the then Faraday Society of London. The first full meeting of the Working Party on 4th February, 1960 included D D Eley, L H Gray, A F Huxley, J C Kendrew, C F A Pantin, R D Preston, J T Randall, F J W Roughton and P M B Walker and a new Society eventually called "The British Biophysical Society " was founded: "For the application of physical and chemical concepts to biological systems".
Its first meeting was held at King's College (London) organised by Prof J T Randall. The birth of the BBS can be said to date from this inaugural meeting held on 19th and 20th December, 1960. The meeting took the form of two symposia on Comparative Studies of Muscular Contraction and on the Structure of Ribonucleic Acid, together with sessions for contributed papers. Minutes of the Steering Committee held on December 8th record that there had already been 183 applications to join the Society and 177 to attend the meeting. By the end of 1960, the membership totaled 224. At the King's College meeting W T Astbury and A V Hill were elected Honorary members.
The first Steering Committee of the BBS, Dr J C Kendrew became the first Honorary Secretary and Prof D D Eley Meetings Secretary, and the Committee elected Prof J T Randall as its first Chairman and Dr P B M Walker as Honorary Treasurer. Other committee members were S Brenner, J A V Butler, A F Huxley, R D Keynes, R D Preston, J W S Pringle, F J W Roughton and J T Weiss.
It is clear from this roll call of committee members, in the early 1960s, that the British Biophysical Society embraced a wide range of topics in Biology. The first major scientific meeting of the British Biophysical Society at King’s College, London (on The Structure of Globular Proteins and The Function of Proteins) and a report on proceedings authored by Professor Freddie Gutfreund (one of the Society’s founder members), appeared in the journal Nature.
In 2007, BBS was the national society organizing the 6th EBSA/BBS congress at Imperial College, London, with Mike Ferenczi (London) as the local organizer and Tony Watts (Oxford) as scientific chair, attracting over 1350 participants and ~800 posters.
The 50th Anniversary meeting in Cambridge in July 2010, was a special meeting, not least that Venki Ramakrishnan was elected an Honorary Member of BBS, in the same year that he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his outstanding work on the ribosome, and giving a plenary lecture at the opening ceremony. He joins many highly distinguished Honorary Members of the BBS, including Aaron Klug, Andrew Huxley, John Walker, Sidney Brenner and about 40 others.