Sir Francis Galton F.R.S. (February 16, 1822 – January 17, 1911), half-cousin of Charles Darwin, was an English Victorian polymath, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he was knighted in 1909.
Galton had a prolific intellect, and produced over 340 papers and books throughout his lifetime. He created the statistical concept of correlation and widely promoted regression toward the mean. He was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence, and introduced the use of questionnaires and surveys for collecting data on human communities, which he needed for genealogical and biographical works and for his anthropometric studies. He was a pioneer in eugenics, coining the very term itself and the phrase "nature versus nurture". As an investigator of the human mind, he founded psychometrics (the science of measuring mental faculties) and differential psychology. He devised a method for classifying fingerprints that proved useful in forensic science. As the initiator of scientific meteorology, he devised the first weather map, proposed a theory of anticyclones, and was the first to establish a complete record of short-term climatic phenomena on a European scale. He also invented the silent dog whistle, and the electrocardiograph.
- Sir Francis Galton: Hereditary Genius (1925); PDF
- Nicholas W. Gillham: A life of Sir Francis Galton: from African exploration to the birth of Eugenics (PDF)