Francis Galton - Polymath, Facts and Childhood

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Francis Galton's Personal Details

Francis Galton was a famous English psychologist and geneticist who founded psychometrics and eugenics

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 16, 1822
Died onJanuary 17, 1911
NationalityBritish
FamousPolymath, Cambridge University, Trinity College, Cambridge, Trinity College, Dublin, Inventors & Discoverers
Known asSir Francis Galton, Гальтон, Фрэнсис
Universities
  • Cambridge University,Trinity College Dublin,Trinity College, Cambridge
  • University of Cambridge
  • Trinity College
  • Cambridge
  • King's College London
Notable Alumnis
  • Cambridge University
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Trinity College
  • Cambridge
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Galton Institute
Birth PlaceBirmingham
GenderMale
FatherSamuel Tertius Galton
MotherFrances Anne Violetta Darwin
Sun SignAquarius
Born inBirmingham
Famous asPolymath
Died at Age88

// Famous Polymath

Francis Galton's photo

Who is Francis Galton?

Sir Francis Galton was an English man who influenced the scientific, psychological geographical and meteorological arenas. With an IQ of two hundred, he was a best-selling author, inventor of finger identification, statistician, sociologist, meteorologist, a geologist, explorer, founder of differential psychology and geneticist. He is most renowned for studying selective mating in humans, and referred to it as Eugenics. He also created the term “nature versus nurture” in reference to his study of hereditary traits. Even though he is not recognized for his accomplishments, Galton’s contributions are still in effect today. In the various novels and autobiographical writing penned by this great scientist, his passion for scientific studies was evident. His friends and family saw him as shy and extremely humble, despite his high intelligence. A workaholic by nature, he diligently set about finding the answers to queries and despite being weary with long working hours he pressed onward with his research and findings. He received many awards for his accomplishments, including being knighted, and if he wasn’t supported by his parents and his older sister, he would not be the genius that influenced such a vast array of fields of study. Read on to know more about the life of this great scientific mind and his contribution to the society

// Famous Alumni of Trinity College, Dublin

Childhood & Early Life

Sir Francis was born on February 16th, 1822 in Birmingham, England to Samuel Tertius Galton and Frances Anne Violetta Galton.

As a child, he was extremely intelligent and by the time he was five years old, his invalid sister had taught him how to read advanced literature, and as he grew older, his mother would hear him reciting from Chevy Chase, or Hudibras.

Both of his parents wanted him to become a medical doctor. He studied medicine at ‘Birmingham's General Hospital’ and later at the ‘Kings College’ in London.

In 1840, he decided to study mathematics at ‘Cambridge University’ instead of medicine.

After Galton's father passed away, he received a wealthy inheritance. He decided to abandon his studies and traveled around the British Isles, and even went to Egypt and Sudan.

Career

In 1850, he decided to become an explorer and Geographer. He joined the ‘Royal Geography Society’ to explore a semi-unknown region of South Africa.

He charted and explored "Damaraland" and "Ovampoland," regions located in South Africa. He was accompanied by Charles Andersson, who ended up staying in the area.

Andersson and Galton's intention was to travel through Damaraland to Lake Ngami, but they weren't able to reach the lake, and decided to chart Ovampoland instead.

After returning to England in 1853, Galton became interested in meteorology, and created the first weather map. It was the first attempt to chart weather on a continental scale.

In 1865 he published ‘Hereditary Genius’, an investigation of the how heredity effected intellectual traits.

Influenced by Charles Darwin's ‘Origin of Species’, in 1875, he began to study and create his own theories on inherited traits.

His study of heredity led to his study of the measurement of human characteristics, (anthropometry). In 1885, he created the Anthropometric Laboratory in the International Health Exhibition. He created this to receive a sizable amount of data for his statistical research.

Galton created psychometrics, the first scientific mental instruments to have existed. Subjects were paid for their tests results in his ‘Anthropometric Laboratory’. He received over 9,000 sets of data for different individuals which were later used to explain the theories of perception.

Beginning in 1888, he was the first to put the study of fingerprints for identification on a scientific basis. Through his ‘Anthropometric Laboratory’, he was able to collect over 8,000 sets of prints.

In 1901, he presented Eugenics to the ‘Sociological Society in the School of Economies’. He presents Eugenics as the study of all of the influences that affect the inborn qualities of the race, and a goal to improve the inborn qualities.

Major Works

Galton's scientific approach to fingerprinting as identification process lead to positive findings of the Parliamentary Committee of 1894. Soon after, finger identification was accepted as testimony in courts, and to identify recidivists.

’Narrative of an Explorer in Tropical South Africa’ was a detailed account of his exploration in South Africa, successful because of his survival through an unknown area of Africa. He wrote a later novel entitled ‘The Art of Travel’, an enduring guide on traveling through the wilderness.

The paper ‘Eugenics: It's Definition, Scopes and Aims’ describes Galton's explanation of Eugenics and how it could be used to produce good and desirable hereditary traits within the human race. His goal was to promote a better society, and to potentially "breed" out sickliness and diseases.

Awards & Achievements

In 1853, he was awarded the ‘Founder's Gold Medal’ by the ‘Royal Geographical Society’ for his exploration of the unknown areas of South Africa. He published his travels in the book entitled ‘Narrative of an Explorer in Topical South Africa’.

In 1908 he won the ‘Darwin-Wallace Medal’ for his contributions to evolutionary biology.

He won the ‘Royal Medal’ for his contributions to the physical, biological, and applied sciences.

In 1910 he won the ‘Copley Medal’ for outstanding achievements in the biological sciences.

Personal Life & Legacy

His twelve year old sister, Adele suffered from a weak spine, but taught him Latin and Greek from her bed anyway.

In 1853 he returned to England to marry Louisa Jane Butler.

He died at the age of 88 on January 17th, 1911 in Haslemere, England. He was buried in the ‘St. Michael and All Angels Churchyard’ in Claverdon, England.

After the demise of this eminent scientist, the ‘Galton Professorship’ and the ‘Laboratory of Eugenics’ were founded in the ‘University of London’ in his honor.

When Eugenics became popular in the 1920's it took a more sinister turn with the implementation of involuntary sterilization in thirty American states, and it becoming central to Nazi ideology.

The full analysis of the results from his Anthropometric Laboratory weren't able to be processed until the 1980s, when computers were fast enough to handle the task.

// Famous Alumni of Cambridge University

Francis Galton awards

YearNameAward

Other

1910 - Copley Medal
Royal Medal
1908 - Darwin–Wallace Medal
1853 - Founder's Gold Medal

Francis Galton biography timelines

  • // 16th Feb 1822
    Sir Francis was born on February 16th, 1822 in Birmingham, England to Samuel Tertius Galton and Frances Anne Violetta Galton.
  • // 1840
    In 1840, he decided to study mathematics at ‘Cambridge University’ instead of medicine.
  • // 1850
    In 1850, he decided to become an explorer and Geographer. He joined the ‘Royal Geography Society’ to explore a semi-unknown region of South Africa.
  • // 1853
    After returning to England in 1853, Galton became interested in meteorology, and created the first weather map. It was the first attempt to chart weather on a continental scale.
  • // 1853
    In 1853, he was awarded the ‘Founder's Gold Medal’ by the ‘Royal Geographical Society’ for his exploration of the unknown areas of South Africa. He published his travels in the book entitled ‘Narrative of an Explorer in Topical South Africa’.
  • // 1853
    In 1853 he returned to England to marry Louisa Jane Butler.
  • // 1865
    In 1865 he published ‘Hereditary Genius’, an investigation of the how heredity effected intellectual traits.
  • // 1875
    Influenced by Charles Darwin's ‘Origin of Species’, in 1875, he began to study and create his own theories on inherited traits.
  • // 1885
    His study of heredity led to his study of the measurement of human characteristics, (anthropometry). In 1885, he created the Anthropometric Laboratory in the International Health Exhibition. He created this to receive a sizable amount of data for his statistical research.
  • // 1888
    Beginning in 1888, he was the first to put the study of fingerprints for identification on a scientific basis. Through his ‘Anthropometric Laboratory’, he was able to collect over 8,000 sets of prints.
  • // 1894
    Galton's scientific approach to fingerprinting as identification process lead to positive findings of the Parliamentary Committee of 1894. Soon after, finger identification was accepted as testimony in courts, and to identify recidivists.
  • // 1901
    In 1901, he presented Eugenics to the ‘Sociological Society in the School of Economies’. He presents Eugenics as the study of all of the influences that affect the inborn qualities of the race, and a goal to improve the inborn qualities.
  • // 1908
    In 1908 he won the ‘Darwin-Wallace Medal’ for his contributions to evolutionary biology.
  • // 1910
    In 1910 he won the ‘Copley Medal’ for outstanding achievements in the biological sciences.
  • // 17th Jan 1911
    He died at the age of 88 on January 17th, 1911 in Haslemere, England. He was buried in the ‘St. Michael and All Angels Churchyard’ in Claverdon, England.

// Famous Inventors & Discoverers

Francis Galton's FAQ

  • What is Francis Galton birthday?

    Francis Galton was born at 1822-02-16

  • When was Francis Galton died?

    Francis Galton was died at 1911-01-17

  • Where was Francis Galton died?

    Francis Galton was died in Haslemere

  • Which age was Francis Galton died?

    Francis Galton was died at age 88

  • Where is Francis Galton's birth place?

    Francis Galton was born in Birmingham

  • What is Francis Galton nationalities?

    Francis Galton's nationalities is British

  • What was Francis Galton universities?

    Francis Galton studied at Cambridge University,Trinity College Dublin,Trinity College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge, Trinity College, Cambridge, King's College London

  • What was Francis Galton notable alumnis?

    Francis Galton's notable alumnis is Cambridge University, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity College, Cambridge

  • Which company or organization was founded by Francis Galton?

    Francis Galton was the founder/co-founder of Galton Institute

  • Who is Francis Galton's father?

    Francis Galton's father is Samuel Tertius Galton

  • Who is Francis Galton's mother?

    Francis Galton's mother is Frances Anne Violetta Darwin

  • What is Francis Galton's sun sign?

    Francis Galton is Aquarius

  • How famous is Francis Galton?

    Francis Galton is famouse as Polymath