Galton and Eugenics

“The word eugenics was coined in 1883 by the British writer and pioneer of statistics, Sir Francis Galton (1820-1911), and defined as the “improvement or repair of the qualities of future generations, either physically or mentally”. For Galton, the chief criterion of improvement was ‘civic worthiness’, or the value of a person to the community. Galton understood worthiness to include ‘physique’ (including good health), ‘ability’ and ‘character,’ and in his Hereditary Genius of 1869 argued that ’eminence’ in lawyers, statesmen, scientists, writers, musicians, scholars – and even wrestlers – was hereditary.” (Badcock, 2003) Continue reading “Galton and Eugenics”