GALTONIANA

Readers with a long memory may recall that one of my heroes is the Victorian polymath Francis Galton.

Anyone with an interest in Galton should be aware of a website here created by Gavan Tredoux. This is an extraordinarily rich resource. For one very useful element, scroll down the section at the top of the home page, click on ‘Scientific Papers and Bibliography’, and you will get access to most of Galton’s 200 or so published papers, which can be downloaded for free in PDF format.

I was also going to link to a website providing on-line publication of a book on Galton by Michael Bulmer. The bad news is that the site is no longer available. The good news is that the book is now scheduled for print publication in October by Johns Hopkins UP, under the title Francis Galton: Pioneer of Biometry and Heredity. This will be the most insightful work on these aspects of Galton’s many-sided career. Nobody could be better qualified to write it than Bulmer, whose previous books are Principles of Statistics (1965), The Biology of Twinning in Man (1970), The Mathematical Theory of Quantitative Genetics (1980), and Theoretical Evolutionary Ecology (1994).

There is a recent full biography of Galton by Nicholas Wright Gillham: A Life of Sir Francis Galton: From African Exploration to the Birth of Eugenics (OUP, 2001). It is also still well worth reading Derek Forrest’s Francis Galton: the Life and Work of a Victorian Genius (1974).

DAVID BURBRIDGE

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