Person: Wright, Sewall Green
Sewall Green Wright was an American geneticist who worked on on evolutionary theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- We should record right at the beginning of this article at Wright later dropped his middle name so was known simply as Sewall Wright.
- Wright had already some experience in such research having studied at the Carnegie Institution of Washington Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor during the summers of 1911 and 1912.
- Ernest William Castle visited the University of Illinois in Wright's final year and after, interviewing Wright, offered him an assistantship at Harvard's Bussey Institution.
- For ten years, from 1915 to 1925, Wright worked for the United States Department of Agriculture.
- Wright took up a post at the University of Chicago in 1926 which he held until he retired in 1955.
- Wright is famed for his work on evolution, in particular in the use of statistical techniques in the subject.
- Another paper by Wright which shows his mathematical approach to the subject is The differential equation of the distribution of gene frequencies which he published in 1945.
- In 1950 Wright gave the Galton lecture at University College, London.
- Fisher and Wright had differing views on the mechanism and importance of natural selection.
- His opposition to Sewall Wright's proposals that random drift was a creative force when allied to selection was a natural outgrowth of this philosophy.
- After retiring from Chicago, Wright joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin as Leon J Cole Professor of Genetics.
- Wright received many honours such as the Weldon Medal from the Royal Society (London) in 1947 and their Darwin Medal in 1966.
Born 21 December 1889, Melrose, Massachusetts, USA. Died 3 March 1988, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
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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