Polymath Francis Galton Invented Finger Identification...Let Us Find Out How!

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Francis Galton, was an English explorer, anthropologist, and eugenicist known for his pioneering studies of human intelligence. He was knighted in 1909.

Galton?s parents had planned that he should study medicine, and a tour of medical institutions on the Continent in his teens?an unusual experience for a student of his age?was followed by training in hospitals in Birmingham and London.

After leaving Cambridge without taking a degree, Galton continued his medical studies in London. After consulting the Royal Geographical Society, Galton decided to investigate a possible opening from the south and west to Lake Ngami. At the age of only 31, Galton was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and, three years later, of the Royal Society.

Galton wrote 9 books and some 200 papers. They dealt with many diverse subjects, including the use of fingerprints for personal identification, the correlational calculus in both of which Galton was a pioneer.

In the 20th century, Galton?s name became associated with eugenics.

Galton estimated the probability of two persons having the same fingerprint and studied the heritability and racial differences in fingerprints. He wrote about the technique, identifying a common pattern in fingerprints and devising a classification system that survives to this day

Francis Galton was a highly prolific polymath who made many contributions to fields as diverse as geography and genetics. He is said to have had an IQ of around 200 and was the best selling author in his own time.

During his studies within hereditary traits, he coined the now-famous phrase "nature versus nurture".

Although he is not widely recognized for his accomplishments today his works are still important to many fields of science. However, during his lifetime he was honored with many awards for his work including a knighthood.

Much like his scientific inquiries, his career was almost as scattershot. In 1850, for example, he decided to become an explorer and geographer. After joining the Royal Geography Society he set off to explore unmapped regions fo South Africa.

In 1894, Galton presented his approach to fingerprinting as a means of positive identification for criminal suspects to a Parliamentary Committee. It was quickly adopted.

Later in his life, he controversially presented his theory of Eugenics in 1901.


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