BooksHistory of Science

The Childless Father of Eugenics

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Science  19 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5567, pp. 472
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069041

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A Life of Sir Francis Galton From African Exploration to the Birth of Eugenics. Nicholas Wright Gillham. Oxford University Press, New York, 2001. 428 pp. $35, £22.50. ISBN 0-19-514365-5.

Galton's role in the founding of eugenics has overshadowed his substantial contributions to a wide range of fields, including the discovery of anticyclones, pioneering work on fingerprinting, the invention of regression and correlation analysis, and the application of pedigree analysis and twin studies to human heredity. These topics are among the many examined in Gillham's fascinating biography, which aims to place Galton in the context of his times.