Francis Galton

Francis Galton

Overview
Sir Francis Galton /ˈfrɑːnsɪs ˈgɔːltn̩/  FRS (16 February 1822 – 17 January 1911), cousin of Douglas Strutt Galton
Douglas Strutt Galton
Sir Douglas Strutt Galton KCB, GCB, F.R.S., MStJ, Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, DCL, LLD was a British engineer.-Education and early life:...

, half-cousin of Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

, was an English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

: anthropologist
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, eugenicist
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

, tropical
Tropics
The tropics is a region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. It is limited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately  N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere at  S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth...

 explorer
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

, geographer
Geographer
A geographer is a scholar whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society.Although geographers are historically known as people who make maps, map making is actually the field of study of cartography, a subset of geography...

, inventor
Invention
An invention is a novel composition, device, or process. An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived, in which case it may be a radical breakthrough. In addition, there is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social...

, meteorologist
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

, proto-geneticist
Geneticist
A geneticist is a biologist who studies genetics, the science of genes, heredity, and variation of organisms. A geneticist can be employed as a researcher or lecturer. Some geneticists perform experiments and analyze data to interpret the inheritance of skills. A geneticist is also a Consultant or...

, psychometrician
Psychometrics
Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational measurement...

, and statistician
Statistician
A statistician is someone who works with theoretical or applied statistics. The profession exists in both the private and public sectors. The core of that work is to measure, interpret, and describe the world and human activity patterns within it...

. He was knighted in 1909.

Galton had a prolific intellect, and produced over 340 papers and books throughout his lifetime. He also created the statistical concept of correlation
Correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....

 and widely promoted regression toward the mean
Regression toward the mean
In statistics, regression toward the mean is the phenomenon that if a variable is extreme on its first measurement, it will tend to be closer to the average on a second measurement, and—a fact that may superficially seem paradoxical—if it is extreme on a second measurement, will tend...

. He was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence
Inheritance of intelligence
The study of the heritability of IQ investigates the relative importance of genetics and environment for variation in intelligence quotient in a population...

, and introduced the use of questionnaires and survey
Statistical survey
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

s for collecting data on human communities, which he needed for genealogical and biographical works and for his anthropometric studies.

He was a pioneer in eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

, coining the term itself and the phrase "nature versus nurture
Nature versus nurture
The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities versus personal experiences The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities ("nature," i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences...

".
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Quotations

One of the effects of civilization is to diminish the rigour of the application of the law of natural selection. It preserves weakly lives that would have perished in barbarous lands.

"Hereditary Talent and Character" in MacMillan's Magazine Vol. XII (May - October 1865), p. 326.

There is a steady check in an old civilisation upon the fertility of the abler classes: the improvident and unambitious are those who chiefly keep up the breed. So the race gradually deteriorates, becoming in each successive generation less fit for a high civilisation.

Hereditary Genius (1869), p. 414

I have already spoken in Hereditary Genius of the large effects of religious persecution in comparatively recent years, on the natural character of races, and shall not say more about it here; but it must not be omitted from the list of steady influences continuing through ancient historical times down, in some degree, to the present day, in destroying the self-reliant, and therefore the nobler races of men.

Inquiries Into Human Faculty and Its Development (1883), p. 80

A really intelligent nation might be held together by far stronger forces than are derived from the purely gregarious instincts. A nation need not be a mob of slaves, clinging to one another through fear, and for the most part incapable of self-government, and begging to be led; but it might consist of vigorous self-reliant men, knit to one another by innumerable ties, into a strong, tense, and elastic organisation.

Inquiries Into Human Faculty and Its Development (1883), p. 80
Encyclopedia
Sir Francis Galton /ˈfrɑːnsɪs ˈgɔːltn̩/  FRS (16 February 1822 – 17 January 1911), cousin of Douglas Strutt Galton
Douglas Strutt Galton
Sir Douglas Strutt Galton KCB, GCB, F.R.S., MStJ, Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, DCL, LLD was a British engineer.-Education and early life:...

, half-cousin of Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

, was an English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

: anthropologist
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, eugenicist
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

, tropical
Tropics
The tropics is a region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. It is limited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately  N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere at  S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth...

 explorer
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

, geographer
Geographer
A geographer is a scholar whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society.Although geographers are historically known as people who make maps, map making is actually the field of study of cartography, a subset of geography...

, inventor
Invention
An invention is a novel composition, device, or process. An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived, in which case it may be a radical breakthrough. In addition, there is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social...

, meteorologist
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

, proto-geneticist
Geneticist
A geneticist is a biologist who studies genetics, the science of genes, heredity, and variation of organisms. A geneticist can be employed as a researcher or lecturer. Some geneticists perform experiments and analyze data to interpret the inheritance of skills. A geneticist is also a Consultant or...

, psychometrician
Psychometrics
Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational measurement...

, and statistician
Statistician
A statistician is someone who works with theoretical or applied statistics. The profession exists in both the private and public sectors. The core of that work is to measure, interpret, and describe the world and human activity patterns within it...

. He was knighted in 1909.

Galton had a prolific intellect, and produced over 340 papers and books throughout his lifetime. He also created the statistical concept of correlation
Correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....

 and widely promoted regression toward the mean
Regression toward the mean
In statistics, regression toward the mean is the phenomenon that if a variable is extreme on its first measurement, it will tend to be closer to the average on a second measurement, and—a fact that may superficially seem paradoxical—if it is extreme on a second measurement, will tend...

. He was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence
Inheritance of intelligence
The study of the heritability of IQ investigates the relative importance of genetics and environment for variation in intelligence quotient in a population...

, and introduced the use of questionnaires and survey
Statistical survey
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

s for collecting data on human communities, which he needed for genealogical and biographical works and for his anthropometric studies.

He was a pioneer in eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

, coining the term itself and the phrase "nature versus nurture
Nature versus nurture
The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities versus personal experiences The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities ("nature," i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences...

". His book, Hereditary Genius (1869), was the first social scientific attempt to study genius
Genius
Genius is something or someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight....

 and greatness
Greatness
Since the publication of Francis Galton’s Hereditary Genius in 1869, and especially with the accelerated development of intelligence tests in the early 1900s, there has been a vast amount of social scientific research published relative to the question of ‘greatness’...

. As an investigator of the human mind, he founded psychometrics
Psychometrics
Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational measurement...

 (the science of measuring mental faculties) and differential psychology and the lexical hypothesis of personality
Personality
Personality is the particular combination of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral response patterns of an individual.-Psychology:* Personality development, the concept that personality is affected by various sources* Personality disorder...

. He devised a method for classifying fingerprint
Fingerprint
A fingerprint in its narrow sense is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. In a wider use of the term, fingerprints are the traces of an impression from the friction ridges of any part of a human hand. A print from the foot can also leave an impression of friction ridges...

s that proved useful in forensic science. He also conducted research on the power of prayer
Efficacy of prayer
Determining the efficacy of prayer has been attempted in various studies since Francis Galton first addressed it in 1872. Some studies have reported benefit, some have reported harm, and some have found no benefit from the act of praying. Others suggest that the topic is outside the realm of...

, concluding it had none by its null effects on the longevity of those prayed for.

As the initiator of scientific meteorology
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

, he devised the first weather map
Weather map
A weather map displays various meteorological features across a particular area at a particular point in time. Such maps have been in use since the mid-19th century and are used for research and weather forecasting purposes. Maps using isotherms show temperature gradients, which can help locate...

, proposed a theory of anticyclone
Anticyclone
An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon defined by the United States' National Weather Service's glossary as "[a] large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere"...

s, and was the first to establish a complete record of short-term climatic phenomena on a European scale. He also invented the Galton Whistle
Dog whistle
A dog whistle is a type of whistle used in the training of dogs and cats. It was invented by Francis Galton. This is discussed quite briefly in his book Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development...

 for testing differential hearing ability.

Early life


Galton was born at "The Larches", a large house in the Sparkbrook
Sparkbrook
Sparkbrook is an inner-city area in south-east Birmingham, England. It is one of the four wards forming the Hall Green formal district within Birmingham City Council.-Etymology:...

 area of Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, built on the site of "Fair Hill", the former home of Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

, which the botanist William Withering
William Withering
William Withering was an English botanist, geologist, chemist, physician and the discoverer of digitalis.-Introduction:...

 had renamed. He was Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

's half-cousin, sharing the common grandparent Erasmus Darwin
Erasmus Darwin
Erasmus Darwin was an English physician who turned down George III's invitation to be a physician to the King. One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, slave trade abolitionist,inventor and poet...

. His father was Samuel Tertius Galton
Samuel Tertius Galton
Samuel Tertius Galton was a businessman and scientist.-Life:He was the son of Samuel "John" Galton, a prominent member of the scientific Lunar Society, and the father of Francis Galton the eminent Victorian scientist. He born in the area of Duddeston in Birmingham...

, son of Samuel "John" Galton. The Galtons were famous and highly successful Quaker gun-manufacturers and bankers, while the Darwins were distinguished in medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

.

Both families boasted Fellows of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 and members who loved to invent in their spare time. Both Erasmus Darwin and Samuel Galton were founder members of the famous Lunar Society
Lunar Society
The Lunar Society of Birmingham was a dinner club and informal learned society of prominent figures in the Midlands Enlightenment, including industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals, who met regularly between 1765 and 1813 in Birmingham, England. At first called the Lunar Circle,...

 of Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, whose members included Boulton
Matthew Boulton
Matthew Boulton, FRS was an English manufacturer and business partner of Scottish engineer James Watt. In the final quarter of the 18th century the partnership installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance on the state of the art, making possible the...

, Watt
James Watt
James Watt, FRS, FRSE was a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the Newcomen steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.While working as an instrument maker at the...

, Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood was an English potter, founder of the Wedgwood company, credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. A prominent abolitionist, Wedgwood is remembered for his "Am I Not A Man And A Brother?" anti-slavery medallion. He was a member of the Darwin–Wedgwood family...

, Priestley
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley, FRS was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works...

, Edgeworth
Richard Lovell Edgeworth
Richard Lovell Edgeworth was an Anglo-Irish politician, writer and inventor.-Biography:Edgeworth was born in Pierrepont Street, Bath, England, grandson of Sir Salathiel Lovell through his daughter, Jane Lovell....

, and other distinguished scientists and industrialists. Likewise, both families were known for their literary talent: Erasmus Darwin composed lengthy technical treatises in verse, and Aunt Mary Anne Galton wrote on aesthetics and religion, and her notable autobiography detailed the unique environment of her childhood populated by Lunar Society members.

Galton was by many accounts a child prodigy
Child prodigy
A child prodigy is someone who, at an early age, masters one or more skills far beyond his or her level of maturity. One criterion for classifying prodigies is: a prodigy is a child, typically younger than 18 years old, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding...

 — he was reading by the age of 2, at age 5 he knew some Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and long division, and by the age of six he had moved on to adult books, including Shakespeare for pleasure, and poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

, which he quoted at length . Later in life, Galton would propose a connection between genius and insanity based on his own experience. He stated, “Men who leave their mark on the world are very often those who, being gifted and full of nervous power, are at the same time haunted and driven by a dominant idea, and are therefore within a measurable distance of insanity

Galton attended King Edward's School, Birmingham
King Edward's School, Birmingham
King Edward's School is an independent secondary school in Birmingham, England, founded by King Edward VI in 1552. It is part of the Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham, and is widely regarded as one of the most academically successful schools in the country, according to...

, but chafed at the narrow classical curriculum and left at 16. His parents pressed him to enter the medical profession, and he studied for two years at Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

 General Hospital
General Hospital
General Hospital is an American daytime television drama that is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running American soap opera currently in production and the third longest running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns....

 and King's College, London Medical School
Medical school
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine. Degree programs offered at medical schools often include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, master's degree, or other post-secondary...

. He followed this up with mathematical studies at Trinity College
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

, University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, from 1840 to early 1844.

A severe nervous breakdown
Nervous breakdown
Mental breakdown is a non-medical term used to describe an acute, time-limited phase of a specific disorder that presents primarily with features of depression or anxiety.-Definition:...

 altered Galton's original intention to try for honours. He elected instead to take a "poll" (pass) B.A. degree, like his half-cousin Charles Darwin . (Following the Cambridge custom, he was awarded an M.A. without further study, in 1847). He then briefly resumed his medical studies. The death of his father in 1844 left him financially independent but emotionally destitute, and he terminated his medical studies entirely, turning to foreign travel, sport and technical invention.

In his early years Galton was an enthusiastic traveller, and made a notable solo trip through Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 to Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, before going up to Cambridge. In 1845 and 1846 he went to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and travelled down the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

 to Khartoum
Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

 in the Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, and from there to Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 and down the Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

.

In 1850 he joined the Royal Geographical Society
Royal Geographical Society
The Royal Geographical Society is a British learned society founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences...

, and over the next two years mounted a long and difficult expedition
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

 into then little-known South West Africa
South West Africa
South-West Africa was the name that was used for the modern day Republic of Namibia during the earlier eras when the territory was controlled by the German Empire and later by South Africa....

 (now Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

). He wrote a successful book on his experience, "Narrative of an Explorer in Tropical South Africa". He was awarded the Royal Geographical Society's gold medal in 1853 and the Silver Medal of the French Geographical Society for his pioneering cartographic survey of the region . This established his reputation as a geographer and explorer. He proceeded to write the best-selling The Art of Travel, a handbook of practical advice for the Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 on the move, which went through many editions and is still in print.

In January 1853 Galton met Louisa Jane Butler (1822–1897) at his neighbour's home and they were married on 1 August 1853. The union of 43 years proved childless.

Middle years


Galton was a polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

 who made important contributions in many fields of science, including meteorology
Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

 (the anti-cyclone and the first popular weather maps), statistics
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

 (regression and correlation), psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 (synaesthesia), biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 (the nature and mechanism of heredity), and criminology
Criminology
Criminology is the scientific study of the nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal behavior in both the individual and in society...

 (fingerprints). Much of this was influenced by his penchant for counting or measuring. Galton prepared the first weather map
Weather map
A weather map displays various meteorological features across a particular area at a particular point in time. Such maps have been in use since the mid-19th century and are used for research and weather forecasting purposes. Maps using isotherms show temperature gradients, which can help locate...

 published in The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 (1 April 1875, showing the weather from the previous day, 31 March), now a standard feature in newspapers worldwide.

He became very active in the British Association for the Advancement of Science
British Association for the Advancement of Science
frame|right|"The BA" logoThe British Association for the Advancement of Science or the British Science Association, formerly known as the BA, is a learned society with the object of promoting science, directing general attention to scientific matters, and facilitating interaction between...

, presenting many papers on a wide variety of topics at its meetings from 1858 to 1899 . He was the general secretary from 1863 to 1867, president of the Geographical section in 1867 and 1872, and president of the Anthropological Section in 1877 and 1885. He was active on the council of the Royal Geographical Society for over forty years, in various committees of the Royal Society, and on the Meteorological Council.

Cattell, a student of Wundt's who had been reading Galton's articles decided he wanted to study under him. He eventually built a professional relationship with Galton formulation test, measuring subjects and working together on research done through both of their careers.

In 1888 Galton set up a lab in the science galleries of the South Kensington Museum which operated for several years. He offered for participants to be measured in order to gain knowledge of their strength and weaknesses. Galton also used this in order to obtain data for his own research. He would typically charge people a small fee for his services.

During this time, Galton wrote a controversial letter to the Times
Times
The Times is a UK daily newspaper, the original English language newspaper titled "Times". Times may also refer to:In newspapers:*The Times , went defunct in 2005*The Times *The Times of Northwest Indiana...

 titled 'Africa for the Chinese', where he argued that the Chinese, as a race capable of high civilization and (in his opinion) only temporarily stunted by the recent failures of Chinese dynasties, should be encouraged to immigrate to Africa and displace the supposedly inferior aboriginal blacks.

Heredity, historiometry and eugenics



The publication by his cousin Charles Darwin of The Origin of Species
The Origin of Species
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the...

in 1859 was an event that changed Galton's life. He came to be gripped by the work, especially the first chapter on "Variation under Domestication" concerning the breeding of domestic animals. An interesting fact is that Galton was present to hear the famous 1860 Oxford evolution debate
1860 Oxford evolution debate
The 1860 Oxford evolution debate took place at the Oxford University Museum on 30 June 1860, seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Several prominent British scientists and philosophers participated, including Thomas Henry Huxley, Bishop Samuel...

 at the British Association. The evidence for this comes from his wife Louisa's Annual Record for 1860.

Galton devoted much of the rest of his life to exploring variation in human populations and its implications, at which Darwin had only hinted. In doing so, he eventually established a research programme which embraced many aspects of human variation, from mental characteristics to height, from facial images to fingerprint patterns. This required inventing novel measures of traits, devising large-scale collection of data using those measures, and in the end, the discovery of new statistical techniques for describing and understanding the data.

Galton was interested at first in the question of whether human ability was hereditary, and proposed to count the number of the relatives of various degrees of eminent men. If the qualities were hereditary, he reasoned, there should be more eminent men among the relatives than among the general population. He obtained his data from various biographical sources and compared the results that he tabulated in various ways. This pioneering work was described in detail in his book in 1869. He showed, among other things, that the numbers of eminent relatives dropped off when going from the first degree to the second degree relatives, and from the second degree to the third. He took this as evidence of the inheritance of abilities
Inheritance of intelligence
The study of the heritability of IQ investigates the relative importance of genetics and environment for variation in intelligence quotient in a population...

. He also proposed adoption studies, including trans-racial adoption studies, to separate the effects of heredity and environment.

The method used in Hereditary Genius has been described as the first example of historiometry
Historiometry
Historiometry is the historical study of human progress or individual personal characteristics, using statistics to analyze references to geniuses, their statements, behavior and discoveries in relatively neutral texts...

. To bolster these results, and to attempt to make a distinction between 'nature' and 'nurture' (he was the first to apply this phrase to the topic), he devised a questionnaire that he sent out to 190 Fellows of the Royal Society. He tabulated characteristics of their families, such as birth order
Birth order
Birth order is defined as a person's rank by age among his or her siblings. Birth order is often believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development...

 and the occupation and race of their parents. He attempted to discover whether their interest in science was 'innate' or due to the encouragements of others. The studies were published as a book, English men of science: their nature and nurture, in 1874. In the end, it promoted the nature versus nurture
Nature versus nurture
The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities versus personal experiences The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities ("nature," i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences...

 question, though it did not settle it, and provided some fascinating data on the sociology of scientists of the time.

Galton recognized the limitations of his methods in these two works, and believed the question could be better studied by comparisons of twins. His method was to see if twins who were similar at birth diverged in dissimilar environments, and whether twins dissimilar at birth converged when reared in similar environments. He again used the method of questionnaires to gather various sorts of data, which were tabulated and described in a paper The history of twins in 1875. In so doing he anticipated the modern field of behavior genetics, which relies heavily on twin studies. He concluded that the evidence favored nature rather than nurture.

Galton invented the term eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

in 1883 and set down many of his observations and conclusions in a book, Inquiries into human faculty and its development
Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development
Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development is an 1883 book by Francis Galton, in which he covers a variety of psychological phenomena and their subsequent measurement. In this text he also references the idea of eugenics and coined the term for the first time .- External links :*...

. He believed that a scheme of 'marks' for family merit should be defined, and early marriage between families of high rank be encouraged by provision of monetary incentives. He pointed out some of the tendencies in British society, such as the late marriages of eminent people, and the paucity of their children, which he thought were dysgenic
Dysgenics
Dysgenics is the study of factors producing the accumulation and perpetuation of defective or disadvantageous genes and traits in offspring of a particular population or species. Dysgenic mutations have been studied in animals such as the mouse and the fruit fly...

. He advocated encouraging eugenic marriages by supplying able couples with incentives to have children. On October 29, 1901, Galton chose to address eugenic issues when he delivered the second Huxley lecture at the Royal Anthropological Institute

The Eugenics Review, the journal of the Eugenics Education Society, commenced publication publication with 1909-1910 volume where Galton as the honorary president wrote a foreword for the journal.

Galton's study of human abilities ultimately led to the foundation of differential psychology and the formulation of the first mental tests.

Galton also devised a technique called composite photography, (produced by superimposing multiple photographic portraits of individuals representing a “natural” kind—like Jewish men, criminals, patients with tuberculosis, etc.—onto the same photographic plate, thereby yielding a blended whole, or “composite”), that he hoped could generalize the facial appearance of his subject into an “average” or “central type.”. See also entry Modern physiognomy under Physiognomy
Physiognomy
Physiognomy is the assessment of a person's character or personality from their outer appearance, especially the face...

). He hoped his technique would aid medical diagnosis, and even criminology through the identification of typical criminal faces. However, he was forced to conclude after exhaustive experimentation that such types were not attainable in practice.

In the middle of 1911 plans were well underway for the First International Congress of Eugenics, held in July 1912. Galton had died just two weeks before the day of the congress. Winston Churchill & Carls Elliot were some of attendees of the conference.

Joseph Jacobs


In the 1880s while the Jewish scholar Joseph Jacobs
Joseph Jacobs
Joseph Jacobs was a folklorist, literary critic and historian. His works included contributions to the Jewish Encyclopaedia, translations of European works, and critical editions of early English literature...

 studied anthropology and statistics with Francis Galton, he asked Galton to create a composite photograph of a Jewish type. One of Jacobs' first publications that used Galton's composite imagery was “The Jewish Type, and Galton’s Composite Photographs,” Photographic News, 29, (April 24, 1885): 268–269.

Pangenesis experiments on rabbits


Galton conducted wide-ranging inquiries into heredity which led him to challenge Charles Darwin's hypothetical theory of pangenesis
Pangenesis
Pangenesis was Charles Darwin's hypothetical mechanism for heredity. He presented this 'provisional hypothesis' in his 1868 work The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication and felt that it brought 'together a multitude of facts which are at present left disconnected by any efficient...

. Darwin had proposed as part of this hypothesis that certain particles, which he called "gemmules
Gemmules
Gemmules were imagined particles of inheritance proposed byCharles Darwin as part of his Pangenesis theory. This appeared in his book The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, published in 1868, nine years after the publication of his famous book On the Origin of Species.Gemmules,...

" moved throughout the body and were also responsible for the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Galton, in consultation with Darwin, set out to see if they were transported in the blood. In a long series of experiments in 1869 to 1871, he transfused the blood between dissimilar breeds of rabbits, and examined the features of their offspring. He found no evidence of characters transmitted in the transfused blood .

Darwin challenged the validity of Galton's experiment, giving his reasons in an article published in Nature where he wrote:

"Now, in the chapter on Pangenesis in my Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication I have not said one word about the blood, or about any fluid proper to any circulating system. It is, indeed, obvious that the presence of gemmules in the blood can form no necessary part of my hypothesis; for I refer in illustration of it to the lowest animals, such as the Protozoa, which do not possess blood or any vessels; and I refer to plants in which the fluid, when present in the vessels, cannot be considered as true blood." He goes on to admit: "Nevertheless, when I first heard of Mr. Galton's experiments, I did not sufficiently reflect on the subject, and saw not the difficulty of believing in the presence of gemmules in the blood."


Galton explicitly rejected the idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics (Lamarckism
Lamarckism
Lamarckism is the idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring . It is named after the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck , who incorporated the action of soft inheritance into his evolutionary theories...

), and was an early proponent of "hard heredity" through selection alone. He came close to rediscovering Mendel's particulate theory of inheritance, but was prevented from making the final breakthrough in this regard because of his focus on continuous, rather than discrete, traits (now known as polygenic traits). He went on to found the Biometric approach to the study of heredity, distinguished by its use of statistical techniques to study continuous traits and population-scale aspects of heredity.

This approach was later taken up enthusiastically by Karl Pearson
Karl Pearson
Karl Pearson FRS was an influential English mathematician who has been credited for establishing the disciplineof mathematical statistics....

 and W.F.R. Weldon; together, they founded the highly influential journal Biometrika
Biometrika
- External links :* . The Internet Archive. 2011....

in 1901. (R.A. Fisher would later show how the biometrical approach could be reconciled with the Mendelian approach.) The statistical techniques that Galton invented (correlation, regression — see below) and phenomena he established (regression to the mean) formed the basis of the biometric approach and are now essential tools in all the social sciences.

The Lexical Hypothesis


Sir Francis was the first scientist to recognize what is now known as the Lexical Hypothesis. This is the idea that the most salient and socially relevant personality differences in people’s lives will eventually become encoded into language. The hypothesis further suggests that by sampling language, it is possible to derive a comprehensive taxonomy of human personality traits.

The Questionnaire


Galton's inquiries into the mind involved detailed recording of people's subjective accounts of whether and how their minds dealt with phenomena such as mental imagery
Visual memory
Visual memory describes the relationship between perceptual processing and the encoding, storage and retrieval of the resulting neural representations. Visual memory occurs over a broad time range spanning from eye movements to years in order to visually navigate to a previously visited location...

. In order to better elicit this information, he pioneered the use of the questionnaire
Questionnaire
A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they are often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this is not always the case...

. In one study, he asked his fellow members of the Royal Society of London to describe mental images that they experienced. In another, he collected in-depth surveys from eminent scientists for a work examining the effects of nature and nurture on the propensity toward scientific thinking.

Crowd sourcing


Galton was a keen observer. In 1906, visiting a livestock fair, he stumbled upon an intriguing contest. An ox was on display, and the villagers were invited to guess the animal's weight after it was slaughtered and dressed. Nearly 800 participated, but not one person hit the exact mark: 1,198 pounds. Galton's insight was to examine the mean of these guesses from independent people in the crowd: Astonishingly the mean
Mean
In statistics, mean has two related meanings:* the arithmetic mean .* the expected value of a random variable, which is also called the population mean....

 of those 800 guesses was 1,197 pounds: accurate to fraction of a percent.http://adamsmithlives.blogs.com/thoughts/2007/10/experts-and-inf.html This insight presages the idea of crowd sourcing and the wisdom of the crowd
Wisdom of the crowd
The wisdom of the crowd refers to the process of taking into account the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than a single expert to answer a question. This process, while not new to the information age, has been pushed into the mainstream spotlight by social information sites such...

.

Variance and standard deviation


Core to any statistical analysis, is the concept that measurements vary: they have both a central tendency
Central tendency
In statistics, the term central tendency relates to the way in which quantitative data is clustered around some value. A measure of central tendency is a way of specifying - central value...

 or mean, and a spread around this central value: variance
Variance
In probability theory and statistics, the variance is a measure of how far a set of numbers is spread out. It is one of several descriptors of a probability distribution, describing how far the numbers lie from the mean . In particular, the variance is one of the moments of a distribution...

. In the late 1860s, Galton conceived of a measure to quantify normal variation: the standard deviation
Standard deviation
Standard deviation is a widely used measure of variability or diversity used in statistics and probability theory. It shows how much variation or "dispersion" there is from the average...

.Sir Francis Galton discovered the standard deviation

Experimental derivation of the normal distribution


Studying variation, Galton invented the Quincunx
Bean machine
The bean machine, also known as the quincunx or Galton box, is a device invented by Sir Francis Galton to demonstrate the central limit theorem, in particular that the normal distribution is approximate to the binomial distribution....

, a pachinko
Pachinko
is a type of game originating in Japan, and used as both a form of recreational arcade game and much more frequently as a gambling device, filling a niche in gambling in Japan comparable to that of the slot machine in Western gambling. A pachinko machine resembles a vertical pinball machine, but...

-like device, also known as the bean machine
Bean machine
The bean machine, also known as the quincunx or Galton box, is a device invented by Sir Francis Galton to demonstrate the central limit theorem, in particular that the normal distribution is approximate to the binomial distribution....

, as a tool for demonstrating the law of error and the normal distribution .

Bivariate normal distribution


He also discovered the properties of the bivariate normal distribution and its relationship to regression analysis
Regression analysis
In statistics, regression analysis includes many techniques for modeling and analyzing several variables, when the focus is on the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables...

.

Correlation and Regression


After examining forearm and height measurements, Galton introduced the concept of correlation
Correlation
In statistics, dependence refers to any statistical relationship between two random variables or two sets of data. Correlation refers to any of a broad class of statistical relationships involving dependence....

 in 1888 . Correlation is the term used by Aristotle in his studies of animal classification, and later and most notably by Georges Cuvier
Georges Cuvier
Georges Chrétien Léopold Dagobert Cuvier or Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier , known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist and zoologist...

 in Histoire des progrès des sciences naturelles depuis 1789 jusqu'à ce jour (5 volumes, 1826–1836). Correlation originated in the study of correspondence as described in the study of morphology. See R.S. Russell, Form and Function. He was not the first to describe the mathematical relationship represented by the correlation coefficient, but he rediscovered this relationship and demonstrated its application in the study of heredity, anthropology, and psychology. Galton's later statistical study of the probability of extinction of surnames led to the concept of Galton–Watson stochastic processes . This is now a core of modern statistics
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

 and regression.

Galton invented the use of the regression line , and was the first to describe and explain the common phenomenon of regression toward the mean
Regression toward the mean
In statistics, regression toward the mean is the phenomenon that if a variable is extreme on its first measurement, it will tend to be closer to the average on a second measurement, and—a fact that may superficially seem paradoxical—if it is extreme on a second measurement, will tend...

, which he first observed in his experiments on the size of the seeds of successive generations of sweet peas. He is responsible for the choice of r (for reversion or regression) to represent the correlation coefficient. In the 1870s and 1880s he was a pioneer in the use of normal distribution to fit histograms of actual tabulated data.

Theories of perception


Galton went beyond measurment and summary to attempt to explain the phenomena he observed. Among such developments, he proposed an early theory of ranges of sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

 and hearing
Hearing (sense)
Hearing is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations through an organ such as the ear. It is one of the traditional five senses...

, and collected large quantities of anthropometric data from the public through his popular and long-running Anthropometric Laboratory, which he established in 1884 where he studied over 9,000 people. It was not until 1985 that these data were analyzed in their entirety.

Fingerprints


In a Royal Institution
Royal Institution
The Royal Institution of Great Britain is an organization devoted to scientific education and research, based in London.-Overview:...

 paper in 1888 and three books (Fingerprints, 1892; Decipherment of Blurred Finger Prints, 1893; and Fingerprint Directories, 1895) Galton estimated the probability of two persons having the same fingerprint
Fingerprint
A fingerprint in its narrow sense is an impression left by the friction ridges of a human finger. In a wider use of the term, fingerprints are the traces of an impression from the friction ridges of any part of a human hand. A print from the foot can also leave an impression of friction ridges...

 and studied the heritability and racial differences in fingerprints. He wrote about the technique (inadvertently sparking a controversy between Herschel and Faulds that was to last until 1917), identifying common pattern in fingerprints and devising a classification system that survives to this day.

The method of identifying criminals by their fingerprints had been introduced in the 1860s by Sir William James Herschel
William James Herschel
Sir William James Herschel, 2nd Baronet was a British officer in India who used fingerprints for identification on contracts. He was born in Slough in Buckinghamshire , a son of the astronomer, John Herschel...

 in India, and their potential use in forensic work was first proposed by Dr Henry Faulds
Henry Faulds
Dr Henry Faulds was a Scottish scientist who is noted for the development of fingerprinting.-Early life:Faulds was born in the Scottish town of Beith, North Ayrshire into a family of modest means...

 in 1880, but Galton was the first to place the study on a scientific footing, which assisted its acceptance by the courts . Galton pointed out that there were specific types of fingerprint patterns. He described and classified them into eight broad categories. 1: plain arch, 2: tented arch, 3: simple loop, 4: central pocket loop, 5: double loop, 6: lateral pocket loop, 7: plain whorl, and 8: accidental.

Final years


In an effort to reach a wider audience, Galton worked on a novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 entitled Kantsaywhere from May until December 1910. The novel described a utopia organized by a eugenic religion, designed to breed fitter and smarter humans. His unpublished notebooks show that this was an expansion of material he had been composing since at least 1901. He offered it to Methuen for publication, but they showed little enthusiasm. Galton wrote to his niece that it should be either “smothered or superseded”. His niece appears to have burnt most of the novel, offended by the love scenes, but large fragments survive.

Honours and impact


Over the course of his career Galton received many major awards, including the Copley medal
Copley Medal
The Copley Medal is an award given by the Royal Society of London for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science, and alternates between the physical sciences and the biological sciences"...

 of the Royal Society (1910). He received in 1853 the highest award from the Royal Geographical Society
Royal Geographical Society
The Royal Geographical Society is a British learned society founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences...

, one of two gold medals awarded that year, for his explorations and map-making of southwest Africa. He was elected a member of the prestigious Athenaeum Club
Athenaeum Club, London
The Athenaeum Club, usually just referred to as the Athenaeum, is a notable London club with its Clubhouse located at 107 Pall Mall, London, England, at the corner of Waterloo Place....

 in 1855 and made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1860. His autobiography also lists the following:
  • Silver Medal, French Geographical Society (1854)
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Society (1886)
  • Officier de l'Instruction Publique, France (1891)
  • D.C.L. Oxford (1894)
  • Sc.D. (Honorary), Cambridge (1895)
  • Huxley Medal, Anthropological Institute (1901)
  • Elected Hon. Fellow Trinity College, Cambridge (1902)
  • Darwin Medal, Royal Society (1902)
  • Linnean Society of London
    Linnean Society of London
    The Linnean Society of London is the world's premier society for the study and dissemination of taxonomy and natural history. It publishes a zoological journal, as well as botanical and biological journals...

    's Darwin–Wallace Medal (1908)


Galton was knighted in 1909. His statistical heir Karl Pearson
Karl Pearson
Karl Pearson FRS was an influential English mathematician who has been credited for establishing the disciplineof mathematical statistics....

, first holder of the Galton Chair of Eugenics at University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

, wrote a three-volume biography of Galton, in four parts, after his death . The eminent psychometrician Lewis Terman
Lewis Terman
Lewis Madison Terman was an American psychologist, noted as a pioneer in educational psychology in the early 20th century at the Stanford University School of Education. He is best known as the inventor of the Stanford-Binet IQ test...

 estimated that his childhood I.Q. was on the order of 200, based on the fact that he consistently performed mentally at roughly twice his chronological age . (This follows the original definition of IQ as mental age divided by chronological age, rather than the modern distribution-deviate definition.)

The flowering plant genus Galtonia
Galtonia
Galtonia is genus of plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae; native to South Africa they are named after Sir Francis Galton. G. candicans, also known as Cape Hyacinth, is much propagated as a garden plant. Another species is the pale green flowering G. viridiflora....

was named in his honour.

See also


  • A Large Attendance In The Antechamber
    A Large Attendance In The Antechamber
    A Large Attendance In The Antechamber is a one-man play by Brian Lipson about Francis Galton the English scientist, statistician and founder of the eugenics movement....

    , a play about Galton
  • Darwin — Wedgwood family
    Darwin — Wedgwood family
    The Darwin–Wedgwood family is actually two interrelated English families, descended from the prominent 18th century doctor, Erasmus Darwin, and Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the pottery firm, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, the most notable member of which was Charles Darwin...

     Darwin, Wedgwood and Galton's family tree
  • Efficacy of prayer
    Efficacy of prayer
    Determining the efficacy of prayer has been attempted in various studies since Francis Galton first addressed it in 1872. Some studies have reported benefit, some have reported harm, and some have found no benefit from the act of praying. Others suggest that the topic is outside the realm of...

  • Eugenics in the United States
  • Historiometry
    Historiometry
    Historiometry is the historical study of human progress or individual personal characteristics, using statistics to analyze references to geniuses, their statements, behavior and discoveries in relatively neutral texts...


Further reading

  • Ewen, Stuart and Elizabeth Ewen (2006; 2008) "Nordic Nightmares," pp. 257–325 in Typecasting: On the Arts and Sciences of Human Inequality, Seven Stories Press. ISBN 978-1-58322-735-0
  • Gillham, Nicholas Wright (2001). A Life of Sir Francis Galton: From African Exploration to the Birth of Eugenics, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-514365-5
  • Quinche, Nicolas, Crime, Science et Identité. Anthologie des textes fondateurs de la criminalistique européenne (1860–1930). Genève: Slatkine, 2006, 368p., passim.

External links