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A life of Sir Francis Galton : from African exploration to the birth of Eugenics

Author: Nicholas W Gillham
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Few scientists have made lasting contributions to as many fields as Francis Galton. He was an important African explorer, travel writer, and geographer. He was the meteorologist who discovered the anticyclone, a pioneer in using fingerprints to identify individuals, the inventor of regression and correlation analysis in statistics, and the founder of the eugenics movement. Now, Nicholas Gilham paints an engaging  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
History
Named Person: Francis Galton; Francis Galton; Francis Galton; Francis Galton
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Nicholas W Gillham
ISBN: 0195143655 9780195143652
OCLC Number: 46660114
Description: xii, 416 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Prologue: Francis Galton in perspective --
I. Antecedents and beginnings. An enviable pedigree --
Metamorphosis: from birth to medical school --
A poll degree from Cambridge --
Drifting --
II. Geography and exploration. South Africa --
Making peace with Jonker Afrikaner --
Expedition to Ovampoland --
Fame and marriage --
Riding high with the Royal Geographical Society: The great lakes of Africa --
Riding high with the Royal Geographical Society: Stanley faces off with the geographers --
Weather maps and the anticyclone --
III. The triumph of the pedigree. Hereditary talent and character --
Gemmules, rabbits, germs, and stirps --
Nature and nurture --
Sweet peas and anthropometrics --
Probing the mind --
Fingerprints --
The birth of biometrics --
Galton's disciples --
Evolution by jumps --
The Mendelians trump the biometricians --
The triumph of the pedigree: eugenics --
Epilogue: Out of Pandora's box --
The first International Congress of Eugenics.
Responsibility: Nicholas Wright Gillham.
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Abstract:

A cousin of Charles Darwin, Francis Galton was an African explorer, the meteorologist who discovered the anticyclone, a pioneer in using fingerprints to identify individuals, a statistician, and the  Read more...

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A splendidly readable and informative guide to Galton's life, works and impact ... the accounts of Galton's investigations of heredity and their reception make the book so useful and so absorbing ... Read more...

 
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    schema:reviewBody ""Few scientists have made lasting contributions to as many fields as Francis Galton. He was an important African explorer, travel writer, and geographer. He was the meteorologist who discovered the anticyclone, a pioneer in using fingerprints to identify individuals, the inventor of regression and correlation analysis in statistics, and the founder of the eugenics movement. Now, Nicholas Gilham paints an engaging portrait of this Victorian polymath." "The book traces Galton's ancestry (he was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin and the cousin of Charles Darwin), upbringing, training as a medical apprentice, and experience as a Cambridge undergraduate. It recounts in colorful detail Galton's adventures as leader of his own expedition in Namibia. Darwin was always a strong influence on his cousin and a turning point in Galton's life was the publication of The Origin of Species. Thereafter, Galton devoted most of his life to human heredity, using then novel methods such as pedigree analysis and twin studies to argue that talent and character were inherited and that humans could be selectively bred to enhance these qualities. To this end, he founded the eugenics movement, which rapidly gained momentum early in the last century. After Galton's death, however, eugenics took a more sinister path, as in the United States, where by 1913 sixteen states had involuntary sterilization laws, and in Germany, where the goal of racial purity was pushed to its horrific limit in the "final solution." Galton himself, Gillham writes, would have been appalled by the extremes to which eugenics was carried."--Jacket." ;
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