Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Description - A Life of Sir Francis Galton by Nicholas Wright Gillham

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 Gillham 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. Here then is a vibrant biography of a remarkable scientist as well as a superb portrait of science in the Victorian era.

Buy A Life of Sir Francis Galton by Nicholas Wright Gillham from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780195143652
ISBN-10: 0195143655
Format: Hardback
(244mm x 165mm x 34mm)
Pages: 432
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - A Life of Sir Francis Galton by Nicholas Wright Gillham

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Life of Sir Francis Galton book by Nicholas Wright Gillham and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review


Author Biography - Nicholas Wright Gillham

Nicholas Gillham is James B. Duke Professor of Biology Emeritus at Duke University.