Tag Archives: francis galton


Karl Pearson (1857)

English scientist and professor of mathematics Karl Pearson was an instrumental figure in the development of mathematical statistics. In 1911, he became professor of eugenics at the University of London and director of the eugenics laboratory. A disciple of Francis Galton, Pearson applied statistical methods to the study of biological problems, especially evolution and heredity, in a science he called biometrics. Today, Pearson’s views on eugenics are considered deeply racist. Why? More… Discuss

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In studies of attractiveness, researchers have found that average faces—those with the most conventional traits—are rated as the most attractive. Such studies often use composite photography, a tool developed in the 19th century by Sir Francis Galton, who believed that he could use composite images to identify “types” by facial appearance. Hypothesizing that certain types have similar facial features, he began creating composite photos of the faces of criminals and vegetarians. What did he find? More… Discuss



Twin Studies

Identical twins share virtually all of their genes, and fraternal twins share about 50%. This makes twins ideal subjects for behavioral geneticists, since they can compare how each individual in a pair is influenced by genes, shared family environment, and individual experience. One of the pioneers of twin studies was 19th-century scientist Sir Francis Galton, who was influenced by the work of his cousin, Charles Darwin. What fundamental misconception colored the research of early twin scholars?More… Discuss