Galton, Sir Francis (1822–1911), an English scientist. Galton won renown for his contributions to the understanding of human heredity and for his work in the fields of statistics and meteorology. Believing that the human race could be improved by selective breeding, Galton originated the study of eugenics (meaning “well born” in Greek). From his statistical studies of human characteristics, he devised the first scientific method of fingerprint identification. In meteorology, he was the first to observe and describe the anticyclone, a type of high-pressure weather system.

Galton was a cousin of Charles Darwin. He graduated from Cambridge in 1844 and was knighted in 1909.

Galton wrote Hereditary Genius (1869); Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development (1883); Memories of My Life (1908).