Sir Francis Galton was an influential figure in the fields of science, psychology, geography, and meteorology. He was a best-selling author, creator of finger identification, statistician, sociologist, meteorologist, geologist, explorer, differential psychology founder, and geneticist with an IQ of 200. Eugenics is a term he used to describe the study of selective mating in humans. In relation to his research on inherited features, he coined the phrase “nature versus nurture.” Galton’s contributions are still felt today, despite the fact that he is not well-known for them. This outstanding scientist’s zeal for scientific studies was visible in his different books and personal writings. Despite his intelligence, his friends and family thought of him as quiet and humble. He was a workaholic by nature, so he set about finding solutions to questions with zeal, despite the fact that he was exhausted from long hours at the office. He got numerous honors for his achievements, including being knighted, and he would not have been the genius who affected such a wide range of disciplines of study if his parents and older sister had not encouraged him. Continue reading to learn more about this renowned scientist’s life and contributions to society.
Childhood and Adolescence
Sir Francis was born in Birmingham, England, on February 16, 1822, to Samuel Tertius Galton and Frances Anne Violetta Galton.
He was an exceptionally bright youngster, and by the age of five, his disabled sister had taught him how to read sophisticated literature, and as he grew older, his mother would hear him reading from Chevy Chase or Hudibras.
Both of his parents wished for him to pursue a career as a doctor. He attended ‘Birmingham’s General Hospital’ and afterward ‘Kings College’ in London to study medicine.
Instead of studying medicine, he chose to study mathematics at ‘Cambridge University in 1840.
Galton inherited a large sum of money after his father died. He chose to drop out of school and travel around the British Isles, including Egypt and Sudan.
The Career of Francis
He decided to pursue a career as an explorer and geographer in 1850. He became a member of the ‘Royal Geography Society’ in order to investigate a relatively undiscovered region of South Africa.
He surveyed and explored the South African territories of “Damaraland” and “Ovampoland.” Charles Andersson accompanied him, and the two ended up settling in the region.
The plan for Andersson and Galton was to travel across Damaraland to Lake Ngami, but they were unable to reach the lake and instead chose to map Ovampoland.
Galton grew interested in meteorology after returning to England in 1853 and made the first weather map. It was the first attempt to map weather across the entire continent.
In 1865, he published ‘Hereditary Genius,’ a study of how heredity influenced intellectual characteristics.
In 1875, he began to explore and develop his own beliefs on inherited features, influenced by Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species.”
His research into heredity led to a study of human traits measuring (anthropometry). In 1885, at the International Health Exhibition, he established the Anthropometric Laboratory. He made it so he could get a large amount of data for his statistical research.
Galton invented psychometrics, the world’s first scientific mental tool. In his ‘Anthropometric Laboratory,’ subjects were paid for the results of their exams. He received almost 9,000 pieces of data from various people, which he eventually utilized to demonstrate perception theories.
He was the first to establish a scientific framework for the study of fingerprints for identification in 1888. He was able to acquire almost 8,000 sets of prints through his ‘Anthropometric Laboratory.’
Eugenics was presented to the ‘Sociological Society in the School of Economies’ in 1901. Eugenics, he says, is the study of all the influences that affect the race’s inborn qualities, with the goal of improving those qualities.
Francis’s Major Projects
The Parliamentary Committee of 1894 found Galton’s scientific approach to fingerprinting as an identification method to be successful. Finger identification was soon accepted as evidence in courts and as a way to identify recidivists.
‘Narrative of an Explorer in Tropical South Africa’ was a thorough account of his successful exploration in South Africa, which was made possible by his survival through an undiscovered part of Africa. He later authored a novel called ‘The Art of Travel,’ which is regarded as a classic guide to wilderness travel.
Galton’s description of Eugenics and how it could be used to develop excellent and desirable hereditary features within the human race is described in the publication Eugenics: Its Definition, Scopes, and Aims.’ His goal was to make the world a better place by “breeding” disease and sickness out of society.
Achievements & Awards
For his exploration of the unexplored territories of South Africa, he was given the ‘Founder’s Gold Medal’ by the ‘Royal Geographical Society’ in 1853. His exploits were chronicled in the book ‘Narrative of an Explorer in Tropical South Africa.’
For his contributions to evolutionary biology, he was awarded the ‘Darwin-Wallace Medal’ in 1908.
For his contributions to the physical, biological, and applied sciences, he was awarded the ‘Royal Medal.’
In 1910, he was awarded the Copley Medal for excellent discoveries in biology.
Personal History and Legacy
Adele, his twelve-year-old sister, had a weakened spine but taught him Latin and Greek from her bed.
In 1853, he married Louisa Jane Butler and returned to England.
On January 17th, 1911, he died in Haslemere, England, at the age of 88. He was laid to rest in Claverdon’s ‘St. Michael and All Angels Churchyard.’
Following his death, the ‘Galton Professorship’ and the ‘Laboratory of Eugenics’ were established in his honor at the ‘University of London.’
Involuntary sterilization was implemented in thirty American states after Eugenics became prominent in the 1920s, and it became crucial to Nazi ideology.
The comprehensive study of his Anthropometric Laboratory results didn’t become possible until the 1980s, when computers became fast enough to handle the task.
Estimated Net worth
Sir is one of the wealthiest mathematicians and one of the most well-known mathematicians. Sir Francis Galton’s net worth is estimated to be $5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.