'Count wherever you can' was the motto of Sir Francis Galton's extraordinary life. His measuring mind left its mark all over the scientific landscape. Explorer, inventor, meteorologist, psychologist, anthropologist and statistician, Galton was one of the great Victorian polymaths. But it was in the fledgling field of genetics where he made his most indelible impression. Galton kick-started the enduring nature/nurture debate, and took hereditary determinism to its darkest extreme. Consumed by his eugenic vision, he dreamed of a future society built on a race of pure-breeding supermen. Plagued by illness and poor mental health, Galton often let his obsessions run away with him. He turned tea-making into a theoretical science, counted the brush strokes on his portrait, and created a beauty map of the British Isles, ranking its cities on the basis of their feminine allure. Through the story of Galton's colourful life Martin Brookes examines his scientific legacy and takes us on a fascinating journey to the origins of modern human genetics.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC