Brian Boycott's career began in in 1942 as an animal house technician in the National Institute for Medical Research. In the evenings he studied Zoology at Birbeck College, University of London. He was an assistant lecturer in the Department of Zoology, University College, London, from 1946 to 1947 and then moved to the Anatomy Department. There began his first "scientific period" in close association with John Z. Young on the brain and behavior of cephalopods-in particular, the memory mechanisms of the common octopus. Most of their work was done at the famous Stazione Zoologica in Naples, Italy. Brian returned to University College in 1952 as a lecturer; he became a reader in 1962 and a professor in 1968.
Boycott was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1971. In 1972, he moved to the Medical Research Council (MRC) Biophysics Unit at Kings College, London, as a Professor of Biology. In 1980, he succeeded M.H.F. Wilkins as Director of that Unit, with Dr. D. Reese as Associate Director. After retiring from the Directorship of the MRC Biophysics Unit at King's College, Brian joined as Professor Emeritus the Department of Anatomy of Guy's Hospital Medical School (University of London).
'Functional architecture of the mammalian retina' with Heinz Wassle (1991)
'John Zachary Young, 18 March 1907-4 July 1997: elected F.R.S. 1945' (1998)
'Learning in the octopus' (1965)
John Zachary Young was born in 1907. Educated, Wells House, Malvern Wells; Magdalen College, Oxford, 1925-1928; tutor and zoologist, Magdalen College, Oxford, 1929-1945; Vice-President of Magdalen, 1943; Fellow of the Royal Society, 1945; Chair of Human Anatomy at University College, London, 1945-1974; President and Vice-President of the Marine Biological Association of Great Britain; retired 1974; continued to conduct research work at the Wellcome Foundation and later, in the Psychology Department, Oxford; died, 1997.
'The anatomy of the nervous system of octopus vulgaris' (1971)
'The Life of Vertebrates' (1950)
'The Life of Mammals' (1957).