Francis Galton

Picture of Francis Galton

Date of Birth: 02/16/1822

Age: 88

Place of birth: Near Birmingham

Citizenship: United Kingdom


Born February 16, 1822 in the town near Birmingham. His cousin was Charles Darwin, and his grandfather - Erasmus Darwin. Francis received medical and biological education and intended to become a doctor, but having inherited after his father died rather large fortune, which allowed him to be independent of the activities of medical practice, he decided to devote himself to scientific research and journeys. Numerous expeditions Galton studied peoples with primitive material culture. were particularly successful research in the south-west Africa (1850-1852), for which in 1853 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society. In subsequent years, Galton studied meteorology: weather maps built and used statistical methods for processing that pozvoliloemu open anticyclones and explain their nature. Of great importance were his anthropological studies that have found application in forensic science (in particular fingerprinting and creating identikit) and laid the foundation for a new direction in science - biometric genetics.

A major role in the scientific biography of Galton`s work played a publication of Charles Darwin The Origin of Species (1859). Seeking to explain the individual characteristics of people, Galton introduced in psychology and anthropology, the notion of heredity. He analyzed a series of biographies of famous people, trying to figure out how often they were related to each other. From these studies, Galton concluded that high intellectual capacity is largely determined by genetic factors, but their implementation is influenced by many other circumstances. The result of his work was the book talent Inheritance (Hereditary Genius), published in 1869. This research laid the foundation of differential psychology. To measure differences in psychophysical Galton invented special devices (ultrasonic whistle that measures hearing sensitivity, etc.). Developed methods of determining capacities which form the basis of tests of the system set up subsequently, introduced methods of statistical data, in particular the method of determining the correlation between the measured values.

In the study of human abilities (Inquiries into Human Faculty, 1883) Galton first coined the term "eugenics", meaning by this the theory of heredity, human health, and ways to improve the human race by means of control of hereditary traits. Based on its eugenic views, he created a model of a utopian society. In the last ten years of his life scientist eugenics was the main subject of his interest. During this period, it was founded Galton Laboratory at University College in London and established by Francis Galton grant for researchers in the field of eugenics. In 1908, London was created Eugenics Education Society (now the Eugenics Society), its first honorary president was Galton. From 1849 to 1910 it was published more than 200 articles and a wide range of topics of lectures. In 1909, Galton was elevated to the dignity of knighthood. Galton died in Heyzlmire (Surrey), 17 January 1911.