Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Annu Rev Genet. 2001;35:83-101.

Sir Francis Galton and the birth of eugenics.

Author information

1
DCMB Group, Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, Box 91000, North Carolina 27708-1000, USA. gillham@duke.edu

Abstract

The eugenics movement was initiated by Sir Francis Galton, a Victorian scientist. Galton's career can be divided into two parts. During the first, Galton was engaged in African exploration, travel writing, geography, and meteorology. The second part began after he read the Origin of Species by his cousin Charles Darwin. The book convinced Galton that humanity could be improved through selective breeding. During this part of his career he was interested in the factors that determine what he called human "talent and character" and its hereditary basis. Consequently, he delved into anthropometrics and psychology and played a major role in the development of fingerprinting. He also founded the field of biometrics, inventing such familiar statistical procedures as correlation and regression analysis. He constructed his own theory of inheritance in which nature and not nurture played the leading role. He actively began to promote eugenics and soon gained important converts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center