Person: Darwin (2), Charles Galton
Charles G Darwin was the grandson of the famous biologist. He worked in Quantum Mechanics and had controversial views on Eugenics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Charles was a grandson of Charles Robert Darwin the author of On the origin of the species and the godson of Francis Galton.
- Darwin was appointed as Reader in Mathematical Physics, Manchester University in 1910.
- After five years at Cambridge, Darwin was appointed Tait Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh in 1924.
- Before he took up the appointment in Edinburgh, Darwin had been elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1922.
- On 3 March 1924 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, having been proposed by Sir James Alfred Ewing, Charles Glover Barkla, William Archer Tait, and Sir Edmund T Whittaker.
- In 1936 Darwin left Edinburgh to take up the position of Master of Christ's College, Cambridge.
- Darwin received many honours for his outstanding work in mathematical physics.
- He was a grandson of the Charles Darwin.
- By heredity and upbringing, C G Darwin was himself a prime example of good breeding: like many of his illustrious forebears, he achieved intellectual eminence and was a striking demonstration that 'like begets like'.
- Thus one purpose of this essay is to draw out Darwin's perspectives on eugenics, and some of the factors that helped shape them.
- Darwin's chronology paralleled that of the British eugenics movement.
- Darwin was openly torn between two beliefs - that eugenic measures were a crucial necessity as natural selection became largely suspended for much of mankind; and the desperate conclusion that all attempts to create a eugenically-determined world were almost certainly doomed to failure.
- In the 1950s, when Darwin was most active in the Eugenics Society, the latter was facing a similar crisis of confidence.
- Thus the second aim here is to demonstrate how Darwin's views in part exemplified, but often ran ahead of, the increasingly frustrated state of the British eugenics movement in its latter days.
- For within a year of Darwin's death, the Society took on charitable status which essentially ended its propagandising role, while in 1968, the Society's journal, "Eugenics Review", ceased publication.
- We mentioned above that Darwin was a member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society.
Born 19 December 1887, Newnham Grange, Cambridge, England. Died 31 December 1962, Newnham Grange, Cambridge, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive