Galton , Sir Francis

Galton , Sir Francis
(1822–1911) British anthropologist and explorer
Even though Galton's exceptional intelligence was apparent at an early age, his higher education was unremarkable. Born in the English Midlands city of Birmingham, he studied mathematics at Cambridge University and studied medicine in London but abandoned his studies on inheriting his father's fortune, which enabled him to indulge his passion for travel. Following consultations with the Royal Geographical Society, Galton set out to cover various uncharted regions of Africa, and became known as an intrepid explorer. He collected much valuable information and was elected first a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and three years later, in 1856, a fellow of the Royal Society.
Galton made important contributions to the science of meteorology, identifying and naming anticyclones and developing the present techniques of weather mapping. This work was published as Meteorographica (1863; Weather Mapping). He was also instrumental in establishing the Meteorological Office and the National Physical Laboratory, but he is remembered chiefly for his researches on human heredity, which were stimulated by the publication of The Origin of Species by his cousin, Charles Darwin. This led Galton to speculate that the human race could be improved by controlled breeding and he later gave the name eugenics to the study of means by which this might be achieved.
Galton studied the histories of notable families to determine whether intelligence is inherited, and concluded that it is. This aroused much controversy amongst those who believed environment is all important. Galton was the first to use identical twins to try to assess environmental influences. His work was characterized by its quantitative approach and he was also the first to stress the importance to biology of statistical analysis, introducing regression and correlation into statistics.
At a time when most scientists believed in blending inheritance, Galton deviated from contemporary thought and, in a letter to Darwin, outlined a theory of particulate inheritance, which anticipated Gregor Mendel's work, then still undiscovered. Galton also discussed a concept similar to the phenotypes and genotypes of Wilhelm Johannsen, under the terms patent and latent characteristics.
Galton was knighted in 1909. In his will he left a large sum of money to endow a chair of eugenics at University College, London, which was first held by Karl Pearson, an energetic advocate of Galton's ideas on eugenics.

Scientists. . 2011.

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  • Galton, Sir Francis — born Feb. 16, 1822, near Sparkbrook, Birmingham, Warwickshire, Eng. died Jan. 17, 1911, Grayshott House, Haslemere, Surrey British explorer, anthropologist, and eugenicist. Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, studied medicine at Cambridge… …   Universalium

  • Galton, sir Francis — ► (1822 1911) Antropólogo británico. Es conocido como fundador de la eugenesia. Obras: Genio hereditario y Ensayos sobre eugenesia, entre otras. * * * (16 feb. 1822, cerca de Sparkbrook, Birmingham, Warwickshire, Inglaterra–17 ene. 1911,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Galton, Sir Francis — English advocate of eugenics, the idea of improving the physical and mental makeup of the human species by selective parenthood. Galton coined the word eugenics to denote scientific endeavors to increase the proportion of persons with better than …   Medical dictionary

  • Galton, Sir Francis —    F.R.S., D.C.L.    b. (1822)    Traveller and anthropologist. Tropical South Africa (1853), Hereditary Genius (1869), English Men of Science, their Nature and Nurture (1874), Human Faculty (1883), Natural Inheritance (1889), Finger Prints… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Sir Francis Galton — noun English scientist (cousin of Charles Darwin) who explored many fields including heredity, meteorology, statistics, psychology, and anthropology; founder of eugenics and first to use fingerprints for identification (1822 1911) • Syn: ↑Galton …   Useful english dictionary

  • Galton — Galton, sir Francis …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Francis Galton — Sir Francis Galton (* 16. Februar 1822 in Sparkbrook, Birmingham; † 17. Januar 1911 in Haslemere, Surrey) war ein britischer Naturforscher und Schriftsteller. Er wurde 1909 zum Ritter geschlagen und war – wie auch sein Cousin Charles Darw …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • GALTON (F.) — GALTON sir FRANCIS (1822 1911) Gentilhomme anglais, voyageur et explorateur (Narrative of an Explorer in Tropical South Africa , 1853), savant qui s’intéressa de façon brillante aux disciplines les plus diverses, sir Francis Galton a surtout… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Francis — Francis. Asteroide nº. 2050 de la serie (1974 KA), descubierto el 28 de mayo de 1974 por Eleanor Francis Helin desde Monte Palomar. La descubridora lo nombró en honor de sus padres Fred y Kay Francis. Lista de asteroides * * * Francis, turbina *… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Francis — /fran sis/, n. a male given name: from an Old French word meaning Frenchman. * * * (as used in expressions) Abbott George Francis Adams Charles Francis Bacon Francis Viscount St. Albans Bacon Francis Bayard Thomas Francis Beaumont Francis Bebey… …   Universalium

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